Thursday 1st June 2017
“One of Americana music’s most admired artists, across the US and around the world.” (Wall Street Journal)
Making her third appearance at String Jam Club on Thursday 1st June is American singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier, rated as “one of the major artists of our time” by Radio Two’s DJ Whispering Bob Harris. Originally hailing from Baton Rouge in Louisiana, the life of Mary Gauthier (pronounced Gο-SHAY) reads like a classic heartbreak country song. As a newborn baby, she was left on the steps of St. Vincent’s Infants Home in New Orleans and eventually adopted by a family led by an alcoholic father. At the age of 15, she stole the family car, ran away and spent years drunk or high on heroin in the company of society’s outcasts, or as she describes them in her award-winning song: “Drag queens in limousines, nuns in blue jeans, dreamers with big dreams, poets and AWOL Marines, actors and bar flies, writers with dark eyes, drunks who philosophize.”
Mary finally got clean at the age of 29 and wrote her first song aged 35. After setting up her own successful Cajun restaurant, she finally decided to go for the music full-time, sold her share in the business to fund her first album ‘Dixie Kitchen’ – and the rest is history. Now one of the most revered songwriters to have emerged from America in the last decade or more, she can count Bob Dylan and Tom Waits amongst her legion of fans. Mary is a truth-teller in gritty Southern Gothic-shaded style. Her life story and songwriting are inextricably linked – unwaveringly honest, raw and unflinching, digging emotional depths but profoundly resonant with the recurring themes of love, redemption, hope and healing. For Mary “songs are the medicine that put me back together.” There is nothing glib or sentimental in her writing. She has lived it all. She pulls no punches and her songs cut to the bone, ultimately penetrating those universal truths we can all relate to. In Mary’s own words: “There’s no such thing as going too deep.”
Mary Gauthier spends her life almost continuously on the road, touring the world, both gigging and running songwriting workshops. She has released nine acclaimed albums, including her most recently-released “Trouble and Love” which includes co-writes with fellow songwriting legends Gretchen Peters and Beth Nielson Chapman. The album is an undeniable masterpiece of “razor-sharp reflections of the long road out of purgatory.”
Mary’s live shows are unique and very affecting, “the kind of experience you keep for life.” With a voice full of rust and road dirt, she transports her audiences to a better place. Despite the fact that her songs are peopled by cast offs, misfits, odd balls, the broken-hearted and worse, Gauthier embraces them all as sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers – her warmth, humour and honesty shining through.
Mary has received standing ovations from all three floors of the Grand Ole Opry, the Mecca of Nashville, and we know she will get the same welcome in Selkirk, as she has already done so twice before! Don’t miss this great artist, live and up close in the intimate and friendly setting of String Jam Club. It will be both moving and uplifting. Mary will be accompanied on stage by Italian violinist Michele Gazich.
“With a voice like a grazed hawk, she sings bluesy Southern Gothic tales…Whatever you are doing I guarantee you’ll stop and listen to every word.” (****MOJO)
“Her razor-sharp eye for detail and her commitment to unsentimental self-reflection puts her in a class with greats such as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine and yes, Bob Dylan.” (LOS ANGELES TIMES)
“Live, she is mesmerising. Her songs are a strange mix of half-spoken, half-sung talking blues: clever, often laugh-out-loud tales of addicts, victims and losers, of cheap motels and failed love affairs.” (THE TIMES)
“Trouble and Love draws marrow from Gauthier’s bones, cauterizing the wounds of a relationship into one of the most devastating breakup albums of all time.” (AUSTIN CHRONICLE)
“A particular blend of toughness and vulnerability that puts her in a league with Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle.” (BOSTON GLOBE)
“One of our most evocative storytellers and fearless stewards of the emotional landscape…” (ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE)
“A half-truth is a whole lie. Character, like integrity, is much easier kept than recovered. So write from your true self, not the self you think you should be.” (MARY GAUTHIER)
Tickets £20, available online, from the venue by phone 01750-721233 (card bookings incur 50p card transaction fee). Tickets will be reserved for collection on the night.
15% discount off hotel restaurant meals for String Jam ticket holders 6-7 pm (advance table reservation advised).
DOORS OPEN 7.30