CD Review – Mary Gauthier “Live at Blue Rock”
It’s been well documented that Gauthier had a troubled life from a very young age that led to her only making her first album in 1997 at the age of 35; but as she turns 50 she has finally produced the Live Album that her devoted fans have been waiting for.
Often described as a ‘truth teller’ rather than just a singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier has always chose to write about challenging and harrowing subjects across her career but they only reflect the life she led and the people she encountered along the way and still does today.
Like many of her contemporaries a Mary Gauthier concert is an intense affair but that’s the only way for her to sing these songs and for her audiences to appreciate the poetry in her words.
As expected the singer bares her soul on each and every one of the eleven songs on LIVE AT BLUE ROCK and Patrick Granado has captured the essence of the concert and the intricate but complimentary fiddle playing of Tania Elizabeth and percussion from Mike Meadows with his crystal clear production.
To those that already know her work, this album is a virtual Greatest Hits; if only she’d actually had hits and will serve as a great introduction to anyone who doesn’t own any of her previous albums.
Blood is Blood is simply heartbreaking as Gauthier hits notes that she has no right to hit in this tale of a runaway that may or may not come from her own experiences.
A new song to me; Fred Eaglesmith’s The Rocketis a rather beautiful but teary story told through the eyes of an old person who’s family go through the motions of weekly visits; but the narrator still has all their faculties about them and tells us about all the other lonely characters in the home they all share.
The harrowing but powerful tale of the drug addicted prostitute Karla Faye, who ends up on Death Row is as good as anything Dylan or Cohen wrote in the 60’s and is so good should go on to be an Award winner.
Mary probably has two ‘signature’ songs; I Drink and Drag Queens in Limousines and obviously, both make appearances here. The former and its tale of a sad Middle American household is as passionate as I’ve ever heard her sing it and Drag Queensis still a delicate subject to discuss in polite society and consequently has the ability to shock the casual listener but; sadly it is just (if not more so) relevant today in 2012.
If you are already a fan you will cherish this album and if you aren’t I urge you to get hold of this CD as it is a testament to one of America’s finest singer-songwriters and a wonderful interpreter of song too.
Released in the UK & Europe 1st October
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