When artistic and entertainment worlds collide.


Remember the episode of Seinfeld in which George’s two worlds collide? A couple days back I was watching Property Brothers on HGTV, and the bros went to talk to the client they were remodeling a house for on that week’s show. He was at a photo studio in Nashville, taking pics of an artist of whom he is filming a documentary. He introduced the brothers to the artist, none other than Mary Gauthier. I was flabbergasted!

If you haven’t yet heard her (or even OF her), Mary was a New Orleans chef who didn’t write her first song until age 35. And not only was she 35---hard to start a musical career at that age, but also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. If you’ve known any addicts, you know how hard it is to survive that life, and escape that world.

I like Mary a lot (in the way I like Lucinda Williams, but darker), and recommend either her 2005 Mercy Now album (her fourth, on the great Lost Highway label), or her Gurf Morlix-produced Filth & Fire from 2002. Gurf was guitarist, bandleader, and album producer for Lucinda up through and including her Car Wheels On A Gravel Road album. He not only produces F & F, but plays all kinds of instruments. Good sounding recording, too.

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I've seen/heard Mary twice in small venues, and am always on the lookout for another opportunity, she is fabulous.  Her last record was part of a movement to help war vets, and the songs were co-written by them well-worth a listen.

@rpeluso, man do I envy you! I would love to see Mary live in a small venue, as it surely would be. She's never going to be booked into stadiums ;-). Before Lucinda was signed to Warner Brothers, I use to see her at tiny little joints around L.A., one time in a pizza parlor to an audience of about a half dozen including my girlfriend and I. Joan Osborne came to Portland a while back, playing a small theater with plush old velvet seats and great sound.

I saw a lot of great shows in the small clubs in L.A.---The Roxy (NRBQ, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Victoria Williams, Willy DeVille, Captain Beefheart!), The Troubadour (Lucinda, Iris Dement, Son Volt), The House Of Blues (Steve Earle w/ The Del McCoury Band, Levon Helm, Cheap Trick, Chris Isaak, Carl Perkins, The Crickets), The Country Club (Rockpile, Moon Martin, Phil Seymour), The Garage (The Plimsouls, Los Lobos), The Palace (Jellyfish, The Bangles), The Palomino (The Pretenders, Rosie Flores, The Collins Kids, lots of Rockabilly), Club Lingerie (Big Joe Turner, The Blasters, The Long Ryders, The Lyres) and many more at bars around town.

At my current age, it takes a lot more to get me out, especially with the weather here in the Northwest. And loading a drumset in and out of an SUV and bar/club is a real drag :-( . I'm getting too old for this nonsense ;-) .

@bdp24,
Another of her lps I own is "Live @ Blue Rock" & "Between Daylight & Dark"...both highly recommended.
Nice headsup guys. I do not listen to the radio, haven’t since about 1967. I like getting recommendations a lot. My favorite way to get good music. And here on top of that there are people like bdp24 and others that give back stories a lot of times.
On another note. I was watching pbs yesterday evening about American Indians in popular music. As bdp24 probably knows Robbie of The Band has American Indian roots, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. How their unique styles and sounds contributed to our musical landscape.

Thanks slaw, I have to get the rest of Mary's albums I don't yet have, on LP when possible. I think Mercy Now was a CD only release, but Filth & Fire may have been on LP.

Mike, Robbie Robertson's mother was Native American, his father Jewish. An unusual combination! My girlfriend and I had just entered a movie theater on Sunset Blvd. in the mid-90's, and I saw Robbie a few yards away talking to his woman companion, she about to go to the restroom, he to the concession counter. I knew he is a huge film fan, but was still startled to be breathing the same air as one of my favorite music makers.

My three other startling encounters were being face-to-face with Brian Wilson in the Tower Records on (again) Sunset Blvd., for the release of his first solo album, Levon Helm in Book Soup (across the street from Tower) at his autobiographical book signing---Ringo was also there to get his copy signed, and being about ten yards from John Lennon at The Cow Palace in 1965. I was only 15, but I realized he was indeed another human being, though a special one. By the time I worked with Emitt Rhodes and Evan Johns in the late-90's, I was very aware that artists are mere mortals, for better or worse. Now Dylan, that's a whole 'nother story ;-) .

Just ordered her latest "Rifles & Rosary Beads" (2019) on vinyl