Sparkling spirit & veritable vagabond Mary Beth Carty paints with a rainbow palette of roots-music motifs, fusing traditional song, instrumental tunes, & songwriting. An accordionist with a bag of pocket-sized instruments & a dedication to cultural-ecology, she brings joy to audiences of all ages, drawing them into an upbeat journey of emotions, times, & places.
Mary Beth is currently in production for her second solo album and... the first two singles are out now on bandcamp and all streaming platforms, both from the trad cannon! Mo Mhàthair was released on May 7th 2021 in honour of Gaelic Awareness Month and Bon Garçon was released on August 15th in honour of la Fête Nationale de l'Acadie. Stay tuned for album title and release date.
As one of 21 composers chosen for The Story and The Song 2021 for CBC Radio’s East Coast Music Hour, Mary Beth was invited to create a piece on the theme of Rebirth. A waltz melody came to her in a dream, and thoughts of forest fire plains. Then, an epic hike and a pre-production session with Bradley Murphy & Colin Grant contributed to this magical recording. “Blueberry Mountain” made its' radio debut on March 27th!
Mary Beth has performed well over 500 shows in her long-spanning career, and has had the opportunity to tour in North America, Europe, and Africa. Her debut solo album, 2017’s Les biens-nommés, earned nominations at the Nova Scotia Music Awards and the ECMA’s. It features original, accordion-fueled songs in French and English, with Donald MacLennan on violin and the Melchin brothers on double-bass and percussion.
As a member of now defunct duo Bette & Wallet, Mary Beth was nominated Traditional Singer of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Her voice has been described as passionate and mesmerizing. Their most popular song, “Squeegees,” transforms a public domain French-Canadian song into a humorous, bilingual anthem about urban winter hardships.
In addition to her work as a solo artist, Mary Beth is in demand as a guitar accompanist for fiddlers and has performed with many of the best. She is known for her distinct, rhythmic style, keen ear, and mastery of the unusual DADGAD tuning.
In 2021 Mary Beth completed a five month ‘artist residency’ at The Gaelic College, where she taught online classes in Cape Breton step dance, set dance, & guitar accompaniment, and participated in the weekly Wednesday Night Ceilidh. Mary Beth improved her gaelic language skills by participating in Nova Scotia’s Daltachas mentorship program as well as a Gàidhlig aig Baile immersion program. Mary Beth is currently working as the music teacher at École Acadienne de Pomquet in Antigonish County.