Robbing Mary
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Robbing Mary

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Rock Americana




"Robbing Mary's Stealing Fans in Cleveland"

There's just something so pure when you hear honest, heartfelt Rock and Roll. I can't quite put it into words, if you don't already understand what I mean. It just puts a smile on your face, and makes you feel alive. You drive with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up, and it makes your feet start tapping uncontrollably. This is the feeling that one gets when listening to Cleveland, Ohio's very own Robbing Mary. There debut release “El Otro Lado,” is an impressive foray into several sub-genres of Rock and Roll. The overall feeling one takes away from the album is this is not just a great local band, but a great band period.

Robbing Mary consists of Dan Mills on vocals and rhythm guitar, Jen Vimonovic on violin and vocals, Stephen Keefe on bass and 6 string guitar, Rom Cullers on lead guitar, bass guitar and vocals, and Will Jones on drums and percussion. Their sound lies somewhere between Alternative Rock, Roots Rock, and a little Alt-Country thrown in for good measure. Robbing Mary draws comparisons to some great 90's bands such as Cowboy Mouth, the Refreshments, Whiskeytown, and the Old 97's. The true talent of the band lays within their musicianship. Yes the songs are catchy and well written, but when you listen to “El Otro Lado,” you are listening to a band of gifted musicians who appear to truly enjoy playing with one another.

Stand out tracks include “Lower A Line,” “I Wouldn't Stay,” “Satellite Radio,” “Roll Over Daisy,” and “Where I Am.” Robbing Mary's sound may borrow from several places, but the feel is uniquely Cleveland. Heartland Rock and Roll, that is unapologetically written and performed from the soul of a band of craftsmen creating their art for whomever has the courage to listen. Robbing Mary is currently making preparations to go back into the studio to record their follow up album. I for one am eagerly awaiting it's release. Robbing Mary plays around town at varied locations and venues. I would highly recommend going to see them perform live if at all possible. This is where the band definitely excels, and after one show it will be come very apparent to you just how good they are. You can find them online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter @robbingmary. Like, Follow, and support this band. They're one of the good ones in Cleveland. - Bill Smith

"CD Review: Robbing Mary - El Otro Lado"

I have to admit I totally missed this cd when it dropped in late 2011. I mean the band, Robbing Mary, wasn’t even on my radar but my how things have changed. I was recently invited to a benefit function a few weeks ago and I saw the entertainment they had playing was a band called Robbing Mary. I asked an intern if we had anything from them and sure enough awhile ago someone had sent us a couple of links to some of their songs so I took a listen. I just sat at my desk listening and wondering how did I miss these guys.

The band has been around for 10 years and are based out of Cleveland which made the fact I missed on them sting a little bit more. The band is longtime Clevelanders Dan Mills (vocals/guitar), Jennifer Vilimonovic (vocals/violin), Steve Keefe (bass/guitar), Rom Cullers (vocals/guitar) and Wil Jones (drums) and the best way to describe their sound is too imagine if you could take The Byrds and combine them with Buffalo Springfield then throw in some Jackson Browne and Stevie Nicks for good measure. That’s the hints of sound you get when you listen to them. They describe themselves as an indie/rock/alt-country band but to me I hear the influences of that sixties California country rock infused in them but who knows indie/rock/alt-country would also be a good description of those bands like The Byrds.

El Otro Lado is their first release and right out of the gate it starts off strong with what I feel are the best two tracks on it, “Glad To Be” and “Lower A Line”. “Glad To Be” is sung by Dan Mills and is a throwback to that California country rock I was talking about. It’s one of those songs you can’t get out of your head. It’s got a catchy riff throughout and Mills vocals wrap the lyrics around it perfectly with some great harmonizing from Jennifer Vilimonovic on the chorus. “Lower The Line” features Rom Cullers on vocals and if you closed your eyes you would think Jackson Browne was singing. Again the song features great harmonies, strong lyrics and very tight instrumentation. Some of the other highlights on the album is “Plastic Flowers”, “The Mo-Kan Line”, “Tell Me” and “Roll Over Daisy” but all of the 15 tracks are strong, there really isn’t a weak song on it. Mills’s vocals are featured on eleven of the tracks and Cullers has the other four.

When you listen to El Otro Lado it is really hard to put it into just one category like country, rock, or indie. It fits comfortably in all of them. I compared Robbing Mary to some real heavyweights like Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and Jackson Browne because when you listen to them you hear elements of all of them in their music but I can also compare them to some of their contemporaries like Scars On 45, Arcade Fire and The Head and Heart and they hold their own if not outshining some of these newer bands.

If you don’t believe me, give them a listen then tell me if I’m wrong. I personally can’t wait for their next release.

For more info on the band and where to catch them live go to

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 17:56 - Cleveland Rock and Roll

"CD Review: Robbing Mary El Otro Lado"

Chugging, driving alt-country seamlessly pours from this Cleveland group on their full-length debut (they released an EP, Groveland, in 2009). Robbing Mary draw inspiration from their Cleveland roots in songs like "Halite," which spotlights the city's skyline ("It's pretty, even through the haze," sings frontman Dan Mills), while organ melds with classic guitar solos in "Where I Am." And you can hear influences ranging from Uncle Tupelo to the Drive-By Truckers in the rumbling "Tell Me." Touches of twang, along with vintage guitars and heavenly male-female harmonies, fuel the dusty El Otro Lado. It's roots rock with bar-band-style hooks. — Danielle Sills - Scene Magazine

"Cleveland’s Robbing Mary Releases New Album with Show at the Greenville Inn This Weekend"

Cleveland, Ohio’s Robbing Mary has been creating music since back in 2004. And for the past fifteen years or so, the band has been entertaining the Greater Cleveland area and beyond with their eclectic blend of Rock and Roll that includes some Irish influences, some Country and some Folk flavor. The band started out with only a few members including Dan Mills on Vocals and Guitar, Stephen Keefe on Bass, and Jen Vilimonovic on Violin and Vocals. Today, the band consists of: Rom Cullers on Lead Guitar, Vocals; Dave Drotos on Organ, Piano and Vocals; Steve Keefe on Bass, Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Dobro; Scott Mehalko on Drums, Percussion and Vocals; Dan Mills on Vocals, Rhythm Guitar; Pete Simon on Electric, Slide & Steel Guitars; and Jennifer Vilimonovic on Violin, Vocals.

Since the band’s inception in 2004, Robbing Mary produced two earlier releases of El Otro Lado in 2011 and Electric in 2015. And just recently, the band just finished creating their latest release. That 2019 release finds the band creating their self-titled album.

Robbing Mary’s self-titled album begins with the track “Lie to Me”. While the band incorporates different musical styles in their music, Robbing Mary creates a track that contains so much Country influence in its music that that is the only way to describe it. The Country track of “Lie to Me” features a straight-out Country feel courtesy of the violin from Jen Vilimonovic as well as the steel guitar from Pete Simon. The inclusion of the Folk influence on the track as opposed to the omni-present Rock and Roll influence of today’s Country makes “Lie To Me” feel as if it would have fit better on Country radio formats back in the seventies or eighties rather than the harder style of music found on the Country music radio stations today.

The feel of the music changes rather dramatically with the song “The Truth Is”. With this track, the band adapts a style that incorporates a stronger Rock and Roll influence as well as a good amount of Blues influence that comes courtesy of the slide guitar present in the music. The first minute or so of the track features that Blues/Rock blend. Soon, though, the track changes to a Pop-Rock deliverance that was found back in the nineties. The Blues/Rock blend and the Pop-Rock deliverance take turns driving the energy of the track. Ultimately, the song brings to mind music from the likes of the band Blues Traveler. Where the track “Lie to Me” would have been right at home on a Country radio format. “The Truth Is” would be right at home on Top 40 radio.

For the next track of “Letting You Go,” the seven-piece band adopts a straight-out Rock and Roll feel to the music. That straight-out Rock and Roll feel comes from the electric guitars on the track. The music on the track contains a rather energetic delivery creating one of the strongest Rock and Roll sounds on the band’s new album. This is such a strong track that the song would have been right at home on radio back in the mid-eighties. While the majority of the tracks on the self-titled release from Robbing Mary feature the vocals of Dan Mills, Mills steps aside for one track and hands the vocal responsibility over to lead guitarist Rom Cullers. With its strong eighties vibe, “Letting You Go” is one of the strongest songs on the self-titled album from Robbing Mary.

The band continues to create different musical styles with the track called “Stay”. Like with the earlier track of “Letting You Go,” “Stay” features someone other than Dan Mills on vocals. For this track, the vocals are handled by organist Dave Drotos who also a light piano to the background of the track. The acoustic guitar, the electric guitar and the violin are all featured within the first few seconds of the track. Together, those instruments help to shape the music that could only be described as Southern Rock. As you listen to the music as the song “Stay” plays, you can pick up influences from the likes of The Allman Brothers or even Molly Hatchet as that Southern influence in the music is undeniable. While the Southern Rock influence is there, the track also contains a strong Folk influence as instruments such as banjo, piano and the aforementioned violin add that Folk flavor to the track. The song finishes strong as the band members seem to fully embrace their Allman Brothers influence. The final thirty seconds of the song or so feels like a sendup to the Allman Brothers song “Jessica”.

After several songs with a strong driving feel to the music, the band slows things down with the track “Better off Brave”. Where the previous tracks all came with a musical direction shaped by the sound of a guitar or banjo, the song “Better off Brave” is shaped by the playing of Dave Drotos on the piano. What results is a track that feels closer to something from Billy Joel than the previous-mentioned Allman Brothers. The feel of the piano gives the song a rather gentle musical delivery and the vocals from guitarist/singer Dan Mills gives the song an emotional edge to the lyrics. As the softer feel of the music continues throughout the song, the violin from Jen Vilimonovic is layered in such a way as to create an orchestrated feel to the music. This adds to the emotional feel of the song.

Robbing Mary brings a bit of the straight-out Rock and Roll feel from the earlier track of “Letting You Go” back for the song entitled “Half Truth”. The first thirty seconds of the track feature a strong guitar-driven feel to the music. Soon, however, the track takes on a stronger Pop-Rock feel to the music. The lyrics of “Half Truth” find the band creating a track about living with your actions after things don’t go the way you plan. The Pop-Rock approach of the song takes the listener back to the nineties/early 2000s with a track that would fit alongside The Goo Goo Dolls and/or Del Amitri.

While the majority of the tracks on the self-titled album from Robbing Mary features the vocals of singer Dan Mills or another male vocalist, the band changes things up on the track “The Climb”. With this song, the vocals are handled by Jennifer Vilimonovic, who also adds some violin to the track. The track features a Soft Rock delivery to the music, giving the song a style that would have felt right at home back in the seventies. The track also features both the guitar and the piano within the music, adding to that Soft Rock delivery. You could easily imagine this song having been played on AM Radio in the seventies.

The dozen tracks on the self-titled album from Robbing Mary end up being rather different from one song to the next. This blended style of music keeps the band’s sound as varied in nature on this release as it had been on the previous two albums from the band. And like the previous releases from the band, the self-titled album from Robbing Mary contains something for nearly every taste.

Robbing Mary will be celebrating the release of their self-titled album this Saturday, November 23, 2019. The band will be in concert at The Greenville Inn. - The Rust Belt Chronicles


Robbing Mary has recorded and released three full length albums, all available worldwide on any digital outlet.  

November 15, 2019:  Robbing Mary

September 19, 2015:  Electric

October 4, 2011:  El Otro Lado



Robbing Mary has been delighting crowds with their heartfelt, heartland music throughout the Midwest for more than a decade. The band has crafted a unique blend of Alternative Country, Americana, Roots Rock and good old Rock N' Roll. Beginning in 2004, with original members Dan Mills on Vocals and Guitar, Stephen Keefe on Bass, and Jen Vilimonovic on Violin and Vocals, the early version of RM assembled an eclectic collection of original material to share with audiences. As time went on they added Rom Cullers on Guitar and Vocals, David Drotos on Keyboard and Vocals, Scott Mehalko on Drums and Percussion, and most recently Pete Simon on electric, slide and steel guitars.  Together as a tight knit unit of seasoned  musicians  featuring dynamic harmonies, incredible musicianship and shared lead vocals between the band members, there is something for everyone offered at a Robbing Mary show. 

Robbing Mary is frequently invited to play large venue gigs and festivals to critical acclaim (references are available upon request). Equally as important, Robbing Mary is a professional band and works well with concert and festival promoters and their staff so that everyone can have a positive experience.  The live performances are powerful, dynamic, and memorable, and the band is flexible enough to deliver exceptional performances ranging in length from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Independently released in 2009, Groveland was the first proper recording effort of the band, and opened the doors which set the stage for what was to follow.  Robbing Mary released their full-length debut album El Otro Lado in 2011. El Otro Lado showcased a strength in songwriting that far surpasses what could be simply considered the work of a “local” band. This powerhouse record has been successful in sparking interest in Robbing Mary to garner a widespread fan base.  This album was followed by their 2015 album Electric, further demonstrating the talents of the band and its impact on the music scene in Cleveland.  Recorded at the legendary SUMA Recording Studio, where such great bands as The Black Keys and Grand Funk Railroad recorded classic albums, Electric builds upon a strong foundation while forging a strong new path into the future.  

In November 2019, the band released its third full length album, Robbing Mary, a self titled effort recorded with excellent guidance from the incredibly accomplished producer Jim Wirt at Crushtone Studios in Cleveland, Ohio.  This is an amazing and diverse collection of songs featuring alternating lead vocals and expert musicianship throughout.  Having honed their songwriting skills over the last 15 years, these tunes are sure to delight crowds far and wide.

For additional information about Robbing Mary, please visit or contact the band at or Dan Mills at 216 789 6789.

Band Members