Mary Gauthier. Live at Blue Rock.

Mary Gauthier is a particular favourite of Glasgow Americana fans having appeared here regularly and always beguiling the audience with her world weary observations, her trials and tribulations. So news of a live album caused some excitement at the Blabber’n’Smoke newsdesk and having finally arrived it proudly sits, a true, fly on the wall, unenhanced capture of a show, warts and all. Gauthier bares her soul, intense, emotionally connected to the characters she sings about. Supported by Tania Elizabeth on fiddle and Mike Meadows on percussion this almost amounts to a greatest hits compilation with selections from most of her albums although surprisingly only one from The Foundling, her autobiographical and award winning album.
With all of the songs well delivered its difficult to select highlights although one has to mention the sterling work by Tania Elizabeth whose fiddle playing is superb with a raw tortured feel about it adding a sense of drama to what are already fairly dramatic songs. However Gauthier’s delivery of Last Of The Hobo Kings is spinechilling while Our Lady Of the Shooting Stars is on a par with the best of Leonard Cohen’s sixties output. Our personal favourite here is Karla Faye, the stark tale of a drug raddled Texan prostitute who ended up on death row. The trio absolutely gels here wringing all the emotion out of the song. Karla Faye is followed by Gauthier’s most famous song, I Drink which again sounds superb with excellent fiddle from Elizabeth. The album ends on a raucous note with a spirited rendition of Wheel Inside The Wheel with dervish fiddling and Gauthier totally in command vocally. Cool and assured she rocks here with a vengeance. A great end to a great album although there is an unlisted (and very fine) version of Mercy Now with gospel sounding backing vocals which acts as an encore. An essential buy for Gauthier fans. She’s coming over to play some gigs promoting the album, unfortunately no Scottish dates mentioned so far.
Oct 11th. Bush Hall, London
Oct 13th.The Malbank Studio Theatre, Cheshire
Oct 14th. The Live Theatre, Newcastle

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