Truly cool music: Mary Gauthier is a foxy mountain

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: July 20, 2013

Oh my! Was it seven years ago that I saw Mary Gauthier play a free show in Madison Square Park on 23rd street in NYC. They have cool free shows there every year and I was lucky to be invited by my sister, who was already hip to Mary. It was a cool summer evening and the show was lightly attended but when Mary started singing we were all transfixed. Even the crickets were silent. I have been a fan ever since. Mary charms you like the foxy cool guy in a jean jacket in high school and then delivers her songs with the quiet strength of a mountain, breaking you in to pieces. She is a legend in her time, a simple folk singer, so humble, so wise and so talented.

Born in New Orleans to a mother she never met, Mary has lived an amazing life of transformation which fuels her music. It was in her 35th year that she gave up a drug and alcohol habit, got clean and picked up a song writing habit. Only a few years later in 2005 she released the classic Mercy Now, which catapulted her career. It featured the song “I Drink” which was covered by Country star Blake Shelton.

In the grand scheme of legends, Mary is just starting her fantastic career. She is still young and yet she plays it like an old timer. Just listen to “I Drink”, “Mercy Now”, and “Your Sister Cried” and tell me that your heart isn’t bursting with sorrow, compassion, tenderness, and the joy of music. It’s her writing, her delivery, her voice, her lyrics, come on Mary, you’re killing me…

Mary Gauthier released her first live album, Live at Blue Rock, at the beginning of the year and embarked on a world tour. She has been playing shows since January and is still going strong. Right now she’s in Canada and then she’s back in the States through the fall. The live recording is cool, but you really just want to go and sit and see her, feel her presence, enjoy her humanity. Either way, she is a grand talent worth supporting.

You might also want to checkout her cover of Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” on the new compilation released last month of the same name.

Other Stories by Holly Ramos
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