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Playing Around: Mary and Mars 

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As America frantically scrounges to unearth its cultural origins in a time of unprecedented psychic uncertainty, it's no surprise that the younger generations are now tapping their roots for the tunes of yore. Sure, the likes of the Grateful Dead et al. have been milking the overpriveleged-and-undersupervised market for "authentic" American music and experience for nearly half a century now. But the youngers have, thankfully, found a way to bring the music back to center stage while leaving the cult out of the culture. Take Mary and Mars, a really cute, young roots and bluegrass band from Santa Fe, N.M. With musicianship to match their handsome and well-groomed look, Josh Martin (bass), Sharon Gilchrist (mandolin, and formerly of the Dixie Chicks) and Ben Wright (guitar) are pickin' down originals, traditionals and classic bluegrass covers faster than Doc Watson can win Grammys. The trio just released their first full-length, eponymously titled CD and will be here for your pleasure at Laura Belle's on Monday night.

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