Behind the Song: Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier came late to the party when it came to music but when she arrived, she changed lives with the songs she crafted and the stories she told. Fresh off the back of the release of her eighth studio album, ‘Dark Enough To See The Stars’, Gauthier talks through her writing process and how some of that knowledge has helped when it comes to writing books and essay’s too. She has just announced a UK tour for November and as she joins me over zoom she is in between dates in the States. “It feels good to get this sort of reconnection happening in person again,” she says about the tour. 

It has been quite a journey for Gauthier up until this point, “It all started after I got sober,” She begins. “It was 1990 and a few years later, I started writing songs. I moved to Nashville to do this for real in 2001.” Gauthier was 39 at that point and had so much life experience – both good and bad – behind her that she could draw upon in her songs. “I look back on the songs I’ve written, and most of them, I’m like, I don’t know how that came through me,” she says as she reflects upon songs such as ‘Sideshow’ and ‘Mercy Now’. She continues, “When I write, I’m often in a weird trance. I’ll sit here for hours and hours and hours and at a certain point, it’ll start working. When it starts working, I don’t really fully remember what’s happening. When I go back and look at what happened, I’m like, well, Damn, that was pretty good.” 

Her songs have been recorded by artists such as Kathy Mattea and Jimmy Buffett, whilst her song ‘I Drink’ was released by both Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton but Gauthier says she doesn’t know how to write for other people. “I don’t write for other people. I write for me and if they like it, they record it. I don’t know how to write for other people; I don’t know what’s inside them, what matters to them, what makes them tick. So I write for me, the best possible songs I can write. And if other recording artists record them, I’m extremely happy about that.” 


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