Mary's Mixed Music Bag
In a slightly smoky voice that brings to mind 1930s and '40s nightclub singers, Mary Koth Lutton sings, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," accompanying herself on a large keyboard in the living room of her Toms River home. Switching to guitar, the woman with short, dark hair softly sings a folk song, her body rocking just the smallest bit from side to side, one foot tapping. Her voice moves effortlessly from deep and low to clear and high.
At age 72, the retired public school teacher of vocal music has returned to the dream of her youth; performing. In 2005, five years after retiring, she learned of the Acoustic Musicians Guild, a nonprofit group based in Ocean County that is open to musicians who want to preserve and advance acoustic music. "Through them, I started singing again," she says of the group, which meets monthly at Cool Beans in Toms River.
Now, her living room is more a studio, jam packed with acoustic and digital pianos, guitars, and people rehearsing with three bands she sings with.