Friday, November 2, 2012
Feature Friday-Mary Ann Kennedy, "Singing to Help"
There are people who travel life's path with a song in their heart and on their lips, all the while trying to help others who may not have a voice of their own. Mary Ann Kennedy is one of those people. Mary Ann's life has been filled with music, her whole life. She remembers a childhood filled with song. "I come from a very musical family. That's where I got my gift." Horses and all animals have always been part of her spirit, too. "I'm so grateful to have been born with the love of music and animals."
In 1978 Mary Ann struck out on her own moving to Nashville. She spent the next twenty years writing and performing the music she loves, earning two Grammy nominations, and producing a number of hit singles. "I had the honor of getting to know and work with wonderful people like, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Emmylou Harris and many more of the finest people in Music City."
Tragedy touched her life in 2000 when within a few days of each other she lost her beloved horse Tonka, whom she'd bred and raised, and Choy, her little pug. In an effort to manage her grief she picked up her guitar and started singing about it. It was at that time she wrote, "The Trail Less Traveled." Driven by the way these events had so deeply touched her spirit and urging from her friends, Mary Ann embarked on a new journey. She started writing songs about the animal loves and angels in our lives. Since that moment Mary Ann has been creating songs that touch, comfort and inspire horse and animal lovers young and old. She celebrates in song and lyric our animal friends hoofed and pawed. "My hope is that hearing this music will inspire healing, joy and celebration of life."
Her first CD, "The Trail Less Traveled" and its title song, introduced many to the growing popularity of natural horsemanship. It was while attending a Ray Hunt Clinic in 1999 that Mary Ann realized that while she had been handling and riding horses her entire life, she did not understand horses very much at all. "It was the way Ray told us when he pointed to a massive oak, 'If that tree was a horse, he knew two leaves,' that made me realize just how much we could all learn from these true horsemen and women." Mary Ann told herself one day she would write a song for that moment and Ray Hunt.
She devoted herself to learning all she could about honoring the horse by learning their language and quickly became a major advocate for conscious natural horsemanship, natural horse keeping and barefoot trimming. "What we are trying to achieve is compensation for domestication." Mary Ann said.
Her second CD, "Hoofbeats, Heartbeats and Wings," celebrates everything from Palominos to Jack Russells, the fun to be found in cleaning stalls and making hay and "Spirit Horses." It also celebrates in song two people who have helped shape her own, and thousands of other lives. For Linda Parelli she wrote, "When You Carry Me." And for Pat Parelli, "Green On Green."
"Rhythm Of The Ride" was her third CD and in song teaches us, "The Language Of Love" and how our horses can leave "Hoofprints on our Hearts." She also declares she is a, "Horse Addict," and in "Tennessee" she celebrates the natural movement of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Another of Mary Ann's causes it to promote soundness in Tennessee Walkers and she asks that if you believe in this, join the marvelous organization, Friends Of Sound Horses (FOSH) and help the cause.
As a lifelong advocate for those among us who have no voice of their own she had assembled a large family of horses, dogs and cats who needed loving care and homes. She realized there was a limit to how many she could take in and she had reached it. But there would be no limit on her efforts to help those who are in the trenches every day running the rescues, the shelters and the therapeutic riding centers. She actively supports a horse rescue in Tennessee, Horse Haven of Tennessee and other local animal shelters. Her fourth CD, "Who Saved Who," is a theme album for loving a rescued animal.
Each year Mary Ann donates her time to perform at numerous fund raising events and concerts to help raise much needed money for them to operate. She also donates generous portions of her proceeds to horse and animal charities, and has given hundreds of her CDs to charity auctions, and sent hundreds more to therapeutic riding centers around the world.
Her fifth CD, "This Love Of Horses". … If you love horses, this is your music! Hurry and order it! Recorded acoustically Mary Ann's passion shines through. The songs are intimate and stirring. "I wanted these songs to be all about the message." Mary Ann said. There are fun songs like, "Cowboy Girl" and "Get Up and Go." "Big Love" tells of the deep and powerful love in a horse or dog's heart, no matter their size. For Pat Parelli, "Slow and Right, (beats fast and wrong)."…
For the gentle man who started Mary Ann on the journey to understand horses, and to help others understand horses through her music, Ray Hunt, she recorded "Two Leaves," a powerful, inspirational and touching song ... "All these years later, when I wrote and sang this song, I could see Ray pointing to that big oak and saying, 'If that tree was a horse, I know two leaves.' ... This song is for you, Ray. Thank you. We miss you."
Mary Ann lives her life caring and giving help to those who need help. She is actively involved in many organizations that do so much to help others. She is devoted to helping those who have discovered or want to discover the natural way, the listening way. She lives the life and leads by example. On her web site she has a page listing the links of others who can help folks learn to honor the horse and all animals. To learn more about Mary Ann Kennedy and to order her music go to www.maryannkennedy.com .
Mary Ann's motto is, "Making the world a better place for the horses and animals we love." Her songs help to guide us ... Her CDs will make great Christmas gifts!