Mary Gauthier played open mics, songwriters’ stages, clubs, and theatres, but never recorded a live record before
Mary Gauthier played open mics, songwriters’ stages, clubs, and theatres, but never recorded a live record before. The Louisiana native describes herself as a Southern folksinger, which led to “brand confusion” when she was still based in Boston. Despite accolades from the industry, cuts by contemporary country stars, and the respect of other songwriters, she did not face the ultimate “game on” of creating a live album. When Gauthier finally decided that it was time to record live, she went to a musicians and artists retreat in Texas with a world-class recording environment and made Live at Blue Rock.
Making a live record, though, is likely not Gauthier’s bravest deed. That moment is probably reserved for the time she finished her first song, because until then Gauthier hid behind substance abuse and addiction in the kitchens of her restaurants, not even facing her admiring patrons at their tables. When she finally emerged from her own darkness–in a very public arrest for drunk driving on the opening night of her second restaurant location–Gauthier found the courage to complete a song, face the audiences, and cram those emotions into lyrics that kick you in the gut.
Gauthier’s lyrics and depth in songwriting contrast with her personable, accessible, yet still “cool kid” demeanor. In conversation, she is more like the insider who tells you not to grab coffee at ABC because it’s better down the street at XYZ–then goes with you for a cup and to make sure you find the right place. By channeling the angst and pain that she freely discusses into songs that reach their raw emotion, Gauthier maintains “regular person” status and brings people along with her into her music instead of some lofty, superior air.
This post previously appeared in an expanded form on http://countryfriedrock.org/mary-gauthier-1306/