Mary Gauthier wrenches everything from a song. From a New Orleans orphanage to the writing circles of Nashville, Gauthier has spent the 60 years and 8 albums in between exercising her natural talent to become one of the most distinguished, and just plain great songwriters currently walking around today. It’s been addiction and heartbreak, small triumphs against the odds as well as simply the wear and tear of a living that’s made Mary so formidable, and with the uncanny ability to inhabit another’s story as snugly as her own, Gauthier has also become a conduit for many who also, as she long ago discovered, understand the healing properties of songwriting. Dark Enough To See The Stars, Mary’s follow-up to 2018’s Rifles & Rosary Beads (a reckoning of an album pairing Gauthier with combat veterans and their families), is the artist in rare– but utterly top– form. Possibly for the first time, Gauthier has allowed a particular happiness to enter her writing, a component as strange to the writer as it is to longtime admirers of her to-the-bone approach. And that’s why it works. Mary Gauthier survived to find her true calling as a songwriter midway through life’s journey, honing an adeptness to learn and adapt without compromise that’s allowed her to embrace the light as viscerally as she has the darkness. Honestly and earnestly, Gauthier details the excitement of sharing moments with her partner, the pain of losing cherished friends, and the ever-challenging hope needed in extraordinary times. Dark Enough To See The Stars captures the now of Gauthier’s life and career. Of course, there’s bittersweet resilience and nostalgia along the way but threaded brightly throughout is something Mary’s earned and more importantly chosen to accept: Joy.
AI- I want to start with the opening track, “Fall Apart World”, a love song of the highest order! I think there has been a huge premium placed on, “Oh, Mary Gauthier is writing happy songs!” How do you feel about that?
Did you see any parallel between your time writing with veterans and writing songs amidst this strange era that we’re living in?