I am off the road for a little while, until my new record comes out. The release date is April 1, and once we get it out there I will be back on the highways, moving from town to town doing the work that I love so much. This record will be called Trouble and Love, and it features some amazing artists. I’ve got my friends Darrell Scott, Beth Nielson Chapman, Siobhan Kennedy and Ashley Cleveland singing with me, as well as the amazing McCrary Sisters (pictured above, singing like angels on the song I wrote with my friend Ben Glover, Oh Soul).
Duane Eddy came by and played guitar on a song, and the whole process was graced with generosity and kindness. I can’t wait to get these new songs out into the world. It’s going to be a joy to take them around and hop on the magic carpet ride again.
But I’m not leaving just yet. These mornings I wake up in my own bed, climb down the stairs to my own home-roasted coffee, and bring it back up the stairs to stare at a blank page in front of me. The coffee helps me write, I swear it does. I grind and brew each cup individually, and get such joy out of it it’s ridiculous. I took up coffee roasting a couple years ago, when my friend Darrell Scott showed me how to do it. I like to almost burn my beans … I like ‘em espresso dark.
Yes, I am writing a book. I am working on a creative non-fiction account of my early years, and I am pulling the scenes together with caffeinated effort and whole lot of hope. It’s been my goal to do this for quite some time, and finally I have some time off the road to dig deeply into it. I’ve got a couple hundred pages done, and I’m not going to worry about deadlines. I’m just gonna keep writing.
Speaking of writers, I got to spend a day with one of my favorites, Wally Lamb. Wally interviewed me in the Louisiana State Senate Chamber at the Louisiana Festival of the Book in Baton Rouge last month, and it was one of the most amazing hours of my life. He knew my work, and he asked the best questions I’ve ever been asked about the songs I’ve written that matter most to me. He told of his own life and journey as a writer, his own struggles, and how a couple of my songs were able to help him in some way. It was truly an honor to sit there with him. And if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend his new book We Are Water. It’s fantastic.
Finally, I’m happy to announce that I’ve teamed with the “Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops” program to offer a Nashville Weekend with Mary Gauthier, Feb. 27-March 2. It’s going to be an amazing few days, with guest teachers, surprise speakers, and one-on-one song evaluation. This intensive workshop will be three days of creative study that will focus on better understanding the process of writing songs, with an emphasis on clarity and emotional honesty. All levels of students are welcome—whether you’ve ever written a song or not. And it makes a great gift for someone who’s always had the desire to tap into their creativity—but it’s limited to only 20 people, so be sure and register before it’s full.
If you’re looking for other great gift ideas, we’ve added a couple things to the web store, one is a beaded version of the Mercy Guitar Pick Necklace. Another is a Christmas bundle of the Necklace with a Mercy Now T-shirt for $45.
Happy Holiday, all!