Local singer-songwriter, Mary Elias describes her music as having both a jazz and blues influence. Elias's songs are primarily about people and often about human hardships. 'I know what it's like to be down and out,' she says. Although her songs may have heavy subjects, she believes, 'there's always a thread of hope in the end.' Mary grew up in West St Paul with 7 sisters and 1 brother. Elias split her time between her 2 loves, art and music. Elias took piano lessons and taught herself how to play guitar, flute and sax. Mary graduated from Sibley High School and then performed locally with a band called Cassidy. The band opened for acts such as Bonnie Raitt and Billy Joel. Mary received a bachelor of fine arts degree in oil painting with a minor in sculpting from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and taught art at Garlough Elementry School and Grass Junior High. Mary is currently back in the Twin Cities after spending 20 years traveling and playing the college circuits throughout the Pacific Northwest, Key Largo, Key West, then Virginia Beach, Pocatello Idaho, and California.