Lost and found

MARY GAUTHIER The Foundling (Proper Records) Al­bum

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Music -

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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