Lost and found
MARY GAUTHIER The Foundling (Proper Records) Album
THE life story of American singersongwriter Mary Gauthier is a harrowing one. Born in 1962 in New Orleans she was given up for adoption by her unmarried mother. Not surprisingly that had a deep impact on her. Finally, three years ago she traced her mother but was denied a reunion.
This traumatic tale is told in Gauthier’s sixth album. It is sad and intensely personal, and at times quite brilliant.
That is in part due to the work of producer Michael Timmins, a founder member of Cowboy Junkies.
Gauthier observed: “Mike understood my story and was able to create a musical landscape that captures the nuances of the narrative.’’
That landscape is a delicate musical setting which includes accordion, organ, violin and evocative horns provided by The Band’s Garth Hudson.
It is heart-wrenching stuff particularly the almost spoken March 11, 1962. This songs reveals the traumatic phone call with her birth mother whose refusal to meet her long-lost daughter was another hurdle for Gauthier to negotiate.
Mama Here. Mama Gone is no less a tour de force with its quietly haunting power.
Gauthier was a late starter in the music business only really beginning her career in her 30s when she took to the folk country circuit.
Since her debut album in 1997, her reputation has steadily grown with her last album Between Daylight And Dark propelling her to the forefront of America’s musical story-tellers.
This album will only enhance her credentials has one of the finest of her generation.
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