“It has been a great personal and professional pleasure to have Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines (Studio Strings) perform on several of my albums. They are individually gifted and talented musicians and together they are an impressive creative force in the studio. They work powerfully in collaboration with a producer, as well as create stunning and unique arrangements themselves. They have added a extraordinary element to
many of my recordings.”

Carrie Newcomer, Rounder Recording artist and producer


Butch Vig, about Mary's work on U2 remix of "Bitter Kiss/Dirty Day"

“Chris and Mary are the Swiss Army knives of string players!”

Mark Williams, Producer: Southern Culture on the Skids, Carrie Newcomer, Hootie and the Blowfish

“I’ve worked with Chris and Mary on various instrumental and vocal projects over the past decade—jingle work for Culvers’, General Casualty, Quivey’s Grove—work they’ve arranged and played wonderfully. I’m in awe of their talents and temperaments.”

Dick Zillman, Owner/CEO, Zillman Advertising

“I always look forward to working with Chris and Mary, they make the impossible seem effortless. Talented is an understatement.”

Dan Geocaris, Head Engineer / Owner—Concept Productions

“I’ve had the honor and pleasure of playing live (shows) with Mary and Chris as well as in the studio. In both forums they are PROS! They are very musical, very tasteful, and have as good a musical sensibility as anyone I’ve ever worked with. Not only that, they are a lot of fun to work with, which can be as important as all of the above.”

Michael Brandmeier / Singer-Songwriter
Link to Michael's “What’s Wrong," used in an episode of NBC’s new prime-time series, “Dawson’s Creek”

“Whether on tour in Europe with the often hectic and stressful schedules, or in the studio finding the right parts, Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines are a pure pleasure to work with! With a multitude of instruments at his fingertips, Chris doesn’t just play, he milks them for all they’re worth, pulling sounds out of traditional wooden instruments, and sometimes using effects, that would make a sampling machine envious. His soloing on my recording was exciting, unorthodox, and exactly what was needed! Mary Gaines has a voice like no one I’ve heard. I love it. It’s not just the quality or technique, it’s where it comes from. As we worked on my project in the studio, Mary and Chris came up with vocal parts that I would not have thought of in a million years! Mary’s bass and cello playing gets under my skin too…seeing her play at a gig can make the most road-hardened musician slowly take their seat and consider their next career move! It’s just so tasteful, groovy and natural! Chris and Mary are a great team—their sometimes twisted humor makes work seem more like play!”

Chuck Lemonds / Singer-Songwriter;
bandleader (Chuck Lemonds & the Impermanents from Austria)
Listen to “Big White Bike” at the above link

“Working with Mary on my debut CD was wonderful. Her creative contributions were invaluable; she even taught me a thing or two.”

Katy Tessman / Minnesota Singer-Songwriter

“Chris and Mary are incredibly gifted at playing what a song needs. Their creativity in crafting original parts on their instruments helped make my CD that much more of a dynamic work.”

Josh Calhoun / performing songwriter

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