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Mary Gauthier | Live At Blue Rock

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Folk: Folk Blues Country: Americana Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Live At Blue Rock

by Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier is an Americana, Southern, Folk singer songwriter.
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Your Sister Cried (Live)
5:02 $0.99
2. Last of the Hobo Kings (Live)
6:29 $0.99
3. Blood Is Blood (Live)
5:19 $0.99
4. Cigarette Machine (Live)
5:17 $0.99
5. Our Lady of the Shooting Stars (Live)
4:11 $0.99
6. The Rocket (Live)
4:55 $0.99
7. Karla Faye (Live)
5:55 $0.99
8. I Drink (Live)
4:21 $0.99
9. Sugar Cane (Live)
5:31 $0.99
10. Drag Queens in Limousines (Live)
6:03 $0.99
11. Wheel Inside the Wheel (Live)
7:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In conversation and in public, Mary Gauthier comes off as a practical, no-nonsense woman. Stoic, even. Which wouldn’t seem unusual, except for the fact that her songs carry so much emotional punch, they can leave you staggering. She has a way of burrowing into that hole so many of us carry inside our souls, and emerging with universal truths that show we aren’t so alone after all.

Gauthier knows where our exposed nerve endings lie because she’s probed her own so deeply, finally learning to unlock the fear and loneliness that controlled her escape-seeking trajectory for so long before songwriting — and the sobriety that drew it forth at age 35 — gave her a steadier flight path.

But even though her six albums have received countless accolades (and 2005’s Mercy Now earned her the Americana Music Association’s New/Emerging Artist of the Year title, and 2011’s The Foundling was named the #3 Record of the Year but the LA Times), and her songs have been praised by both Bob Dylan and Tom Waits and recorded by Jimmy Buffet, Blake Shelton and many others, Gauthier felt she needed to rack up her pilot hours, so to speak, before she could hit another major milestone: recording a live album. When she was ready, she captured Live at Blue Rock at a concert at the Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas, outside of Austin.

“People have been asking for a live CD for a long time and I just knew that I wasn’t ready yet,” admits Gauthier. “It took 10 years of trench work. Of bein’ out there, banging my head against all the things an artist has to bang against. Indifference. Poor attendence. Situations that are over your head. Every night, curve ball, curve ball, curve ball. But stagecraft cannot be taught. You have to be onstage to learn it. So after 10 years of doin’ it, I got good at it.”

Louisiana native-turned-Nashville resident Gauthier (it’s French; pronounced Go-SHAY) is not bragging, just explaining, in that practical way of hers. It’s the same way she discusses experiences that led to some of the extraordinary songs she performs on the album. Renowned songs, such as “I Drink,” “Drag Queens in Limousines” and “Karla Faye” — which addresses the famous fate of that convicted killer, but starts out with lines that undoubtedly reference their author as well: A little girl lost, her world full of pain. He said it feels good, she gave him her vein.

Then there’s “Blood on Blood,” from her last release, 2010’s The Foundling, which plumbs the particular hell of children given up to closed adoption. With a cinematographer’s eye and a lyrical economy that suggests far more than her 15 years of songwriting experience, she chronicles an always-present sense of rejection and rootlessness, the nagging “whys” and “what ifs,” the endless search of every face for a possible resemblance. I don't know who I am I don't know who I'm not/I don't know my name I can't find my place, she sings, her voice rising from a whisper to a wail. She’s not just offering a vein here, she’s cutting several wide open. Like all of her songs, “Blood on Blood” takes on even more power when performed live.

“As a songwriter, I’m always trying to go to the deepest possible place inside of me. Past the naval-gazing, past the self-conscious, to get to that ‘we,’” Gauthier explains. “’Cause deep inside of all of us is the universal. And that is an artist’s job, to transcend the self. … I’m in there, but then hopefully, it goes past that and it hits something far, far bigger and more important than me. That’s what I’m aimin’ for every time I write.”
She’s proud that The Foundling opened the floodgates for thousands of fellow orphans who had never heard anyone articulate their pain with so much insight. Gauthier reports therapists are now using the album to better understand the adoptee experience. It’s also resulted in several reunions between children and their birth parents — though Gauthier’s birth mother declined that option after Gauthier made contact five years ago. And she understands that decision, even if she’ll never have the full closure she sought.

Sometimes, life just goes that way — particularly for the outsiders with whom Gauthier has always identified most. They populate Live at Blue Rock, which also contains covers of three songs by fellow poet/philosopher (and recent “Tin Can Caravan” tour leader) Fred Eaglesmith, another master at illuminating the sympathetic sides of characters society is not used to regarding kindly, if at all.

“I find the stories I want to tell are the stories of characters who may or may not make it,” says Gauthier. Though she’s no longer dangling on that precipice, she adds, “I believe in redemption. I needed redemption; I continue to need redemption.”

Luckily, she sometimes finds it onstage, in front of an audience. And just as audiences change from night to night, so do her accompanists.

When Live at Blue Rock was recorded, she had fiddle and percussive adornment. But she’s experimenting with different configurations all the time, which means the songs take on new identities nightly.

“They’re living things,” Gauthier says of her work. “You record ‘em one way but that’s just the way you played it that day. Some words change, the tempo changes. It has to go with the flow of the room and the flow of the night.”

Gauthier, a teen runaway who attended college in Louisiana and operated a Cajun restaurant in Boston before getting sober, long ago learned how to go with the flow. And to be patient. Because it takes time to get good enough to wing it.



to write a review


I'm afraid 2013 is over for me. I've already found my album of the year, early on in January. Powerful. My only regret is that I wasn't in the audience that night...


Mary Gauthier - a MUST for anyone that appreciates GOOD music
If you have never heard Mary Gauthier's voice, then you just have to give this CD a listen to. She has such a raw quality; a very moving voice with amazing tone. To add to that, she is a singer/songwriter whose lyrics and melody are arranged in a such way that pull you into her world. When you listen to Mary's stories, you feel the emotion and these songs somehow become yours; the listener relates to what she presents. I fell in love with her music the first time I heard her with the song, "I Drink." Seriously, it floored me. She was singing my life. Not that I am a serious drinker, but the fact that the characters in her song had been in my life and I understood. I got hooked on "Her Sister Cried" because it is just a dang good song. Mary hits this one note that gets me every time. And, the story is interesting - vivid wording; once again, you can "see" the story. "Last of the Hobo Kings", another cool story. She just pulls you in with each one. This song talks about the life of a real person; an iconic hobo king that recently passed away. She picks up the tempo with "Wheel inside the Wheel" and it's one that you will find yourself singing throughout the day because it won't leave your head. "Sugar Cane" gives you insight to some Louisiana memories and once again, you get such imagery with her lyrics. A fan you say? Yes. And, I have to say one more thing. See Mary live. It is so very worth it. I just love her music and her voice. This CD is five stars.


A Must-Have for your Desert Island Collection
Mary speaks to all of us, in the darkest heart of where we truly live.
Listen to this album when you are at the end of a long, soul-draining stretch; whether it be a reality-shaking eternity that spans a few hours, or a bleak 30 years of surviving the human condition. When you are ready to come back to yourself...listen. You will be renewed.

Live at Blue Rock

Live at Blue Rock
One of the greatest songwriters of all time, I own every one of Mary's albums. This one is as good (if not better) than every other one. I played it all the way through about 10 seconds after I got it, and have listened to it several times since then. Her style is always simple and raw, and this album really captures it.


I Love It!
Bought it and Mary signed it at her London (Shepherds Bush) concert last year. Loved the concert, (3rd concert of Mary's I've been to), have most of her music on Ipod, play it constantly. Brilliant CD, go buy it, you'll love it!

Elizabeth Harper

Hush child. Mary's speakin' to you now..
A powerful message pours out of Mary Gauthier. The consummate storyteller regales us with her words and music. She is just like that One. You know that One? When you were at church or a family picnic or a Kiwanis auction or a revival tent or a freak show, etc., and that One began to speak. And you just knew. You knew in your heart and soul that this One had something to say. And you listened. And you got it. And your heart swelled. This is the One that someone else or something else deep inside you tells you to stop the chatter and listen. Hush child. Mary's speakin' to you now.
Buy this CD. Listen. Let your heart swell. Let your soul soar. Mary is truly one of The Ones.