GRAMMY NOMINATION!

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Rifles & Rosary Beads Nominated for GRAMMY Award
in the Best Folk Album Category

This collaborative collection of songs came about because of the tireless efforts of Darden Smith, Mary Judd, and the entire team of SongwritingWith:Soldiers. They invited me into their visionary non-profit work, and changed my life. They are my teachers, along with the brave Veterans and their families who were willing to go on record, literally, with their stories. It takes courage to be a soldier, and it takes courage to tell the truth about the effects of war on your life, your family and your soul.

I am but the midwife here, a witness to layers and layers of bravery. The producer of this record, Neilson Hubbard, brought the songs to life, hired an amazing band, and made it easy on me by bringing his studio to my house.

My publicists, Jim Flammia, Donica Elliot, and Michelle Steele All Eyes Media carried the story of these out into the world, and they kicked ass.

Michele Gazich convinced me this was a good idea to pursue and gave me the courage to take it on.

And my love, Jaimee Harris, makes every single day on earth better.

I am richly blessed, and deeply grateful.

Thank you to all who have supported this project!
And congrats to all the artists nominated along side us!

https://www.billboard.com/…/…/2019-grammy-nominees-full-list

NPR's 50 Best Albums of 2018

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Rifles & Rosary Beads Named One of NPR’s 50 Best Albums of 2018!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST

“Few singer-songwriters have mined their own autobiographies with a stronger belief in the unifying potential of human affliction than Mary Gauthier, but she arrived at her most compelling expressions of empathy to date by fixating intently on others' stories. Rifles & Rosary Beads, her eighth proper studio album, was the fruit of songwriting retreats with American military veterans and their spouses and partners; with the participants' permission, what began as a therapeutic exercise led to a riveting collection of testimonies, recollections and vignettes. Gauthier is a tough, almost surly singer who makes her emotional commitment to the material felt, and her choice of producers, and multi-instrumentalist Neilson Hubbard, framed it with bristly folk-rock gravity. The greatest source of the 11 songs' power is how they capture contradictions in excruciating, unshakable detail: the feelings of fierce camaraderie beneath heroic displays of stoicism; the mixture of pride and anguish that service leaves in its wake; the trauma that alienates vets and their loved ones even after they're reunited beneath the same roofs. That degree of attentiveness was an especially needed salve during a year when differences in experience and perspective were treated as unbridgeable, hostility-stoking barriers.”
Jewly Hight

Bluegrass Underground Episode Airing Now

Our episode of the Emmy-Award Winning Season VIII Bluegrass Underground is premiering now on PBS. Set your DVRs and check your local listings!

https://goo.gl/UntYva http://www.bluegrassunderground.com/pbs

You can also watch the episode, streaming on PBS.org at

http://www.pbs.org/bluegrass-underground/season-8/.

Thanks again to everyone at Bluegrass Underground for hosting us!

International Artist of the Year Nomination

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I am honored to be Nominated for International Artist of the Year by The Americana Music Association UK! Thank you to the UK voters for including me in this amazing group of artists. London, here we come!

The fourth annual UK Americana Awards Show will take place at The Hackney Empire in East London on January 31st. Visit https://theamauk.org/ for more information.

Hangin' & Sangin' Podcast

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"Music can provoke thoughts and heal wounds by building empathy and understanding through song. This is the highest calling of the art." 
- Mary Gauthier

Hangin' & Sangin' Podcast

I had the recent privilege of sitting down with music journalist Kelly McCartney in Nashville and talking about my songwriting work with the veterans.


Our "Hangin' & Sangin'" Podcast is available now!

LISTEN TO PODCAST

October Newsletter

Rifles & Rosary Beads Documentary Premiere

Hello y'all! We premiered Neilson Hubbard and Josh Britt's Rifles & Rosary Beads Short Documentary in the Westin ballroom during AmericanaFest, and the great LA Times Pop Music Writer Randy Lewis interviewed me in front of an audience after the movie ended.

The Rifles & Rosary Beads Short Documentary is now up on YouTube, so please have a look and share with your friends. I am so proud of how the documentary turned out. Please let me know what you think!

Rifles & Rosary Beads (a short documentary) is a twenty-minute film about the power and beauty of turning war trauma into art. The documentary tells the story of Mary Gauthier's experience of co-writing with Veterans and their families through the SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

Each co-written song is a glimpse inside the heart and soul of a Veteran (or military spouse). The service member's words and stories bring listeners deep into the harrowing effects of war. Written honestly from a vulnerable place, the songs generate empathy and understanding, even if the viewer has no experience with combat and the effects of war on the human spirit.


The process of co-writing the songs is deeply therapeutic for both the Veteran and the songwriter, but it's not therapy. It's the making of art.

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Mary Gauthier, Courtney Marie Andrews and Jaimee Harris at 2018 Americana Awards

October News

Well, we didn't win Record of the Year at the Americana Music Awards (congrats to Jason Isbell!) but we DID look great when we lost, and looking good feels good...always!


I wore leather pants, my old cowboy boots from Amsterdam, and a black shirt covered with rhinestones that sparkled under the stage lights. I walked the red carpet, and sang The War After The War on stage at The Ryman with my co-writer Beth Nielsen Chapman as Buddy Miller's brilliant hand-picked band played along.

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Beth Nlelsen Chapman and Mary Gauthier performing at 2018 Americana Awards

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to tell the story of SongwritingWith:Soldiers on a larger stage, and we connected the veterans' stories and songs with plenty of new people.

All of this is a blessing, and I am grateful!

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Mary Gauthier and Candi Staton at 2018 Americana Awards

In other Americana news, I finally got to meet the great Candi Staton, pictured above. Ms. Staton cut Mercy Now years ago, and nailed it! I played songs on the radio with old friends, including John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell and Will Hoge at The Outlaw Country Americana's Most Wanted Round.

Also, Jaimee Harris sang background vocals with me all week at AmericanaFest, and we played ten showcases all around Nashville. Thanks to everyone who came out to support, and everyone who made this AmericanaFest one to remember!

We are heading out soon for October shows in Italy and Holland, and will be joined by Jaimee Harris and Michele Gazich. As always, thank you for being a part of our journey!

LISTEN TO CANDI STATON SING MERCY NOW

Rifles & Rosary Beads Documentary Premiere

Rifles & Rosary Beads Documentary Premiere

Hello y'all! We premiered Neilson Hubbard and Josh Britt's Rifles & Rosary Beads Short Documentary in the Westin ballroom during AmericanaFest, and the great LA Times Pop Music Writer Randy Lewis interviewed me in front of an audience after the movie ended. 

The Rifles & Rosary Beads Short Documentary is now up on YouTube, so please have a look and share with your friends. I am so proud of how the documentary turned out. Please let me know what you think!

Rifles & Rosary Beads (a short documentary) is a twenty-minute film about the power and beauty of turning war trauma into art. The documentary tells the story of Mary Gauthier's experience of co-writing with Veterans and their families through the SongwritingWith:Soldiers program.

Each co-written song is a glimpse inside the heart and soul of a Veteran (or military spouse). The service member's words and stories bring listeners deep into the harrowing effects of war. Written honestly from a vulnerable place, the songs generate empathy and understanding, even if the viewer has no experience with combat and the effects of war on the human spirit.


The process of co-writing the songs is deeply therapeutic for both the Veteran and the songwriter, but it's not therapy. It's the making of art.

Mary Gauthier's AmericanaFest Schedule

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Join Mary in Nashville, Tennessee this week for AmericanaFest!

MARY’S AMERICANAFEST SCHEDULE

9.11.18 The Basement Nashville: "Better Together” @8PM
9.12.18 Ryman Auditorium: Americana Honors and Awards Show @6:30PM
9.12.18 City Winery Nashville @11PM
9.13.18 The Bluebird Cafe, with Eliza Gilkyson, Beth Nielsen Chapman & Jaimee Harris @6PM
9.14.18 Panel at The Westin – Vanderbilt III, with Randy Lewis @2PM
9.14.18 Diskin Cider: "Songsmith Social," with Amanda Shires + More @3-8PM
9.14.18 4th Story Theater: “Congo Women Arise Benefit,” with Eliza Gilkyson & Jaimee Harris @7PM
9.15.18 Michael Weintrob Photography Studio and Gallery: Campfire Propaganda AMA Day Party @6PM

"Rifles & Rosary Beads" Nominated for Album of the Year
www.marygauthier.com.

Full AmericanaFest Schedule:
www.americanamusic.org

Album of the Year Nomination: September Newsletter

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Welcome to my September Newsletter!

Hello from New Mexico, where I'm teaching songwriting and playing shows with Eliza Gilkyson this week! 


I've been on the road all month with Michele Gazich, who plays violin and viola, and Jaimee Harris, who has been singing background vocals for us. We covered a lot of ground in August, and it has been a great joy to share the stage with them all month!

From playing
Rifles & Rosary Beads songs in front of music supervisors in the HBO Offices in Santa Monica, to teaching songwriting at the Targhee Bluegrass Festival in Wyoming, to teaching and performing at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado, to the big stages at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and the Fayetteville Roots Festival in Arkansas, we've been burning up the highways all month.

One of my favorite memories of this tour is meeting Nolan, the young man in the picture below. At just 8 years old, he was a student at The Grand Targhee Music Camp.

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After Jaimee, Michele and I finished playing our set, Nolan came up to me and asked me if he could sing me a couple of songs. We went out to the patio and he proceeded to sing me EVERY verse of Folsom Prison Blues, and then sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow. His beautiful voice soared, and he stole my heart.

The next day at lunch he sat with us, and I asked him why he decided to learn Folsom Prison. 
He said he learned it because he liked that Johnny Cash went to the prison to sing for the guys inside. He said "I think it was kinda like what you are all doing with the Veterans." I said, "Nolan, I would have never thought of it that way, but yes, you're right."

He smiled and my heart exploded into rainbows.

What a beautiful moment, with a wonderful young man.

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Rifles & Rosary Beads Nominated for Album of the Year by Americana Music Association

We are so honored that Rifles & Rosary Beads has been nominated for
Americana Album of the Year!


I will be performing The War After The War, from Rifles & Rosary Beads, at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville during The Americana Honors & Awards Showon Wednesday, September 12th. I will also be playing quite a few showcases during the AmericanaFest Conference. 

Please make plans to join us during the week of September 11-16th in Nashville for AmericanaFest.

CLICK HERE FOR AMERICANAFEST SCHEDULE

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Special thanks to Kathy Mattea for recording "Mercy Now" on her new album Pretty Bird, out September 7th. What a beautiful rendition. Thank you, Kathy!

"Like a hand extended to help you on your path, Kathy Mattea's new song, 'Mercy Now,' reaches out to touch the listener with a message of empathy."  - Parade.com

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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What an honor for "Mercy Now" to be chosen as the closing song on the "Yellowstone" Season Finale!

"The scene at the end of the Yellowstone finale, as Kevin Costner walked toward the beautiful mountains and the music played in the background, really touched many fans' hearts." - Heavy.com

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL LIST OF TOUR DATES

As always, thank you for your support! ~ Mary

"Mercy Now" Closing Song on Yellowstone Season Finale

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Does anyone out there watch "Yellowstone," the TV Show? Starring Kevin Costner, Yellowstone is set on the largest contiguous ranch in the US, on the border of Yellowstone National Park. The show has been very popular. This year it was the "second-most watched TV series on ad-supported cable, only behind The Walking Dead," with close to 5 million viewers per episode. I am honored to have "Mercy Now" placed as the final song of the of the 2018 season finale!

"If you’re like me, then that song at the end of the Yellowstone really moved you. The singer talked about mercy, a man’s work almost being over, and how people in power will do anything to keep their crown. The scene at the end of the Yellowstone finale, as Kevin Costner walked toward the beautiful mountains and the music played in the background, really touched many fans’ hearts." - Heavy.com

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Kathy Mattea Records "Mercy Now"

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"Like a hand extended to help you on your path, Kathy Mattea’s new song, 'Mercy Now' reaches out to touch the listener with a message of empathy. The song is from Mattea’s new album, Pretty Bird, releasing on September 7. Gorgeously performed, this tender prayer for understanding benefits from Mattea’s simple yet masterful delivery.

She shares, 'This song is written by Mary Gauthier, a songwriter’s songwriter here in Nashville. I found myself listening to it for my own solace, and decided that if I could learn to sing it, I’d get to live with it every night. I tried for months to sing it, had to shelve it, brought it back out, and was finally able to find a point of view that felt like my own. Bill Cooley, my longtime guitarist, came up with a wonderful hymn-like arrangement, and when I sing it, I think of it as a prayer.'"
- Parade.com

Thank you, Kathy Mattea, for recording Mercy Now! What a beautiful rendition.

 

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"Military Veterans Find a Voice" on Rifles & Rosary Beads

Welcome to my August Newsletter!

Recently nominated for The Americana Music Association's Album of the Year Award, Rifles & Rosary Beads features 11 songs that I co-wrote with combat veterans and their spouses.

As I head back out on the road for tour dates in Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado this month, we are excited to debut the video and share the story behind the title track of Rifles & Rosary Beads, co-written by Iraq War Veteran Joe Costello.


I was in a SongwritingWith:Soldiers writing session when Joe, a young Veteran from the war in Iraq, looked me in the eye and said "I don't know how to explain how I feel except to say my soul hurts."

Then he looked down, and there was a long silence. I waited, I hesitated, I let the silence linger. I tried to take in the bigness of what he had just told me. After a few moments, I asked him how he deals with that feeling, how other soldiers deal with that. He said everyone has their own way of dealing, but in Iraq there were a lot of white knuckles holding rifles tightly, and plenty of other fingers rolling rosary beads in circles, over and over again.

As he spoke, I heard the title "Rifles and Rosary Beads." So I suggested we write a song with that title. We worked on it for about two hours, and I sang the title line and the chorus over and over, adding new words and adjusting words each time. I asked him to tell me when I got the words right, and when I got them wrong. As we worked, his detached posture changed and his demeanor shifted. He became engaged.

His head would nod when I got it right, I'd ask him more questions, he'd supply the answers and I'd work on making them rhyme, and sing them back to him. His head nodded faster as the song developed, his eyes lit up, and his lips (that had been firmly set in a straight line the entire weekend) began to ease into a small, shy smile around the corners of his mouth. When I missed what he was trying to say he'd correct me, and this would open him up to new stories, new feelings. We found a flow and rode it. We reached a point where what he was saying was overwhelming to both of us, and I put down my guitar and broke down. I looked up and he was crying too. As the emotion moved through us and we regained composure, I wrote down a summary of his words and sang them back to him, and we kept going.

His song had taken shape, and when we were done, I asked him to close his eyes, and I played the whole song to him, softly. Though the song was intense, and the story a difficult one, we both stood up and instinctively high fived after the last note rang out.

We knew we'd nailed it, and though the song is sad, we did the touchdown dance together. It was a beautiful, joyful moment. The relief on his face at the end of the writing session was as if time had reversed itself inside his brain. His demeanor had softened. He looked younger and more alive. I asked him how his soul was feeling now.

He had tears in his eyes, and said he wanted to hug me. I closed my computer, put down my guitar, opened my arms and we embraced. He gave me an enormous hug, the kind a child would give. The song had broken through walls of separation, and gave him a small ray of hope. The song provided something he could hold onto, a small rung on the ladder to help him pull himself up with.

LISTEN TO SONG - CLICK HERE

Why must anyone "soldier on" when we now know that is a destructive and dangerous route, especially for soldiers themselves? We all need each other, and songs are a wonderful way of creating human connection. Songs can bring us out of isolation and into the beauty and mystery of being alive on a planet full of other living souls.

What I have learned is that the dominant narrative of a wounded person's life can be rewritten into a narrative of healing by a song. This happens not by trying to write a healing song, but by simply writing the truth, by singing the emotional truth. Giving voice to the silence, being seen and heard and known, is transformative. It helps undo the shame that always comes with trauma.

While the experience is cathartic, it's also transcendent in that the song is a move beyond the self toward others. The song serves as a catalyst for transformation, healing by engaging a re-description of self. It moves the frozen story along, thaws it, and releases some of the infection. It opens up channels of resonance with others who have felt the same way, or who have the ability to relate with empathy and compassion.

Songs have the power to change lives. As it turns out, every soldier's song is a prayer for peace.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

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"With Singer Mary Gauthier, Military Veterans Find A Voice"

"My passion has collided with purpose."

CLICK HERE TO READ NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE

World Debut: Got Your Six

Video Debut: Click Here to Watch Got Your Six

This month we are excited to debut the video for "Got Your Six," from my new album Rifles & Rosary Beads.

I wrote "Got Your Six" with two female veterans, Meghan Counihan and Britney Pfad, who served in the army in Iraq. It was my first veteran co-write, at a retreat center outside of Austin, Texas. I watched as the two women sat next to each other, whispered in each other's ear, and occasionally held each other's arm. They were very close, and I could see that they were family to each other.

I asked them to tell me about their friendship. Did they serve together? Were they battle buddies? They looked at me and said, "We have each other's six."

"What? What's that?" I asked. They were suprised I'd never heard the term. "You know," one soldier said, without emotion. "I've got her back. She's got mine."

"On the battlefield," she explained. "12 o'clock is in front of you, 6 o'clock behind you. To have someone's 6 is to have their back."

To have someone's 6 means you'd die for them. When the full weight of that hit me, I knew I was entering another world, one I knew nothing about.  In their world, people die for one another. I understood quickly that a part of their deep bond is survivor's guilt, the aching memory of those they've lost. They carry the weight of that, daily.

They talked, and I listened, watching their body language, and noting the rise and fall of their voices. I took in the stories they told, as well as the ones they could not fully articulate. We sat together for a couple of hours. I took notes. When it got late we called it a night, and I went to my room and tried to mold what they said into a song. I did my best to make sure it conveyed what they felt and believed.

I played the song for them the next morning. They liked it, but pointed out a couple spots where my words were not exactly right. We kept working. They added new ideas. After a few changes, we had it.

When I played their song for them from start to finish, both of their faces opened. Their jaws dropped. Watching them become wide-eyed and filled with wonder hearing their song for the first time, I shared in their delight. We laughed and we high fived. We resonated. We were in sync. We'd written a song that reflected some of a soldier's deepest feelings.

I love this song! Special thanks to Meghan and Britney for being brave enough to share their story!

 

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Rolling Stone Names Rifles & Rosary Beads as One of Best Albums of 2018 So Far

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Rolling Stone Names Rifles & Rosary Beads
One of Best Country and Americana Albums of 2018 So Far


"By sharing her platform with the voices of veterans, Gauthier's album serves as a necessary lesson in the power of country-folk storytelling and its ability to provide a voice for the voiceless." 

- ROLLING STONE

CLICK HERE TO READ ROLLING STONE

7/4/18: Heroes in Harmony: CBS This Morning Feature

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We are thrilled to announce that CBS This Morning aired "Healing The Emotional Wounds of War Through Song" again on Wednesday, July 4th. The live update included veteran Josh Geartz out of his wheelchair, and walking!

Originally aired on March 21st, 2018, the CBS This Morning piece features my work with co-writer Josh Geartz and the
SongwritingWith:Soldiers Program that has helped so many veterans tell their stories through song.

"Although there are a lot of therapy programs for veterans suffering from PTSD, only a few use professional musicians to achieve dramatic results. One group is turning wounded warriors into songwriters and helping them heal - one song at a time."  - CBS THIS MORNING

CLICK HERE TO WATCH CBS THIS MORNING

Saved By A Song: TEDxLincolnSquare

"Trauma goes deeper than words. But music can get into those places."
 
TEDxLincolnSquare has posted my TED Talk "Saved By A Song."  I spoke in New York City recently about the process of using songs and songwriting to articulate difficult stories to create resonance and human connection. It was not easy to get it all said in the time allowed, but I think I came pretty close.

A huge thanks to Tricia Brouk for being an amazing TED Director
and Talk Leader!

Click HERE to Watch

Americana Album of the Year Nomination

Wow! What an honor to be nominated for Album of the Year by
The Americana Music Association! 

Neilson Hubbard produced Rifles & Rosary Beads beautifully, and brought in the perfect band for these songs. Michele Gazich came in with his violin from Italy and we had an amazing week recording in the little recording studio Neilson built in my house. The tracking came together fast, and I knew right away that the sound he got was right for these songs.

I am deeply grateful to the Americana membership for nominating this project.

MAJOR CONGRATS
to all the Veteran co-writers and to the wives.
WE DID THIS TOGETHER!

Thank you to SongwritingWith:Soldiers for letting me be a part of your visionary work with Veterans.

Good luck, love and deep respect to all the Record of the Year nominees:
Brandi Carlile, Margo Price and Jason Isbell.

All Award Winners will be announced September 12th at the Americana Honors & Awards Show at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

We Are Stronger Together

Welcome To My May Newsletter!

A HUGE thank you to all the Veterans who came out to The Linda in Albany, New York last Wednesday (pictured above). Thank you for helping us feel the beautiful, lasting connections that these songs have made, and thank you to SongwritingWith: Soldiers Director Mary Judd and Veteran Josh Geartz for bringing so much love into the room.

Josh Geartz surprised me by WALKING up to the stage! Josh showed up WITHOUT A WHEELCHAIR, and walked up three steps to play harmonica on stage with me. I had no idea he had been working on this (for over a year), and it was absolutely amazing. To me, Josh is living proof of the true spiritual power of song, when that song tells the truth.


I appreciate all of the Veterans who have come out to support us along the Rifles & Rosary Beads Album Release Tour. I love meeting all of you and hearing your personal stories. This last tour in the eastern US was a wondrous run, and I'm so grateful for the sold out rooms and positive energy behind Rifles & Rosary Beads. Thank you!

I'm Heading to the UK!

My UK Album Release Tour kicks off this Friday, May 4th, in Portstewart at The Flowerfield Arts Centre with Special Guest Michele Gazich. I'll be carrying in my heart all of the love that's been given to me by new and old friends in each town. I'm filled with joy and gratitude, and my heart is full of wonder. We truly are all Stronger Together.

We hope to see you down the road!
Please visit the
full tour schedule for all of the details.

~ Mary

World Debut: "Stronger Together"

Today, we're premiering the video for "Stronger Together," a song I co-wrote with songwriter Ashley Cleveland, and six EOD wives at the Boulder Crest Retreat Centre in Bluemont, Virginia.

They say no mans left behind but that ain't true
They hate it that they need us but they do
They lose their fingers, lose their limbs
We try to love 'em back together again
They say no mans left behind but that ain't true

They're hurt in places that the eye can't see
We miss the man our husband used to be
The military breaks their heart
We're there when they fall apart
They're hurt in places that the eye can't see

We're stronger together
Sisters forever
We're stronger together
Sisters forever


What is an EOD wife, you ask? EOD wives are women who are married to military bomb experts. EOD stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. EOD is a joint service military occupational skill, which means that EOD Technicians serve within the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.

On average, there are over 4,000 brave men and women serving as EOD Technicians within the four services. These technicians are responsible for disarming, rendering safe and disposing of a variety of unexploded military ordnance and terrorist devices: Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs. IEDs on today's battlefields are responsible for the majority of fatalities and severe injuries to our troops.

When I sat down with these wives to write this song, I asked them "How do you do it? How do you make it through each day married to someone whose job it is to dismantle terrorist bombs all over the world?"

They told me they do it together. Women watching out for other women, and for each other's children. A family within a family, committed to each other's well being. They said it can't be done any other way. It is just too hard to go it alone when you are married to a bomb guy. These women are hidden heroes, as they hold their families together while their husbands are off doing the most dangerous work imaginable.

I hope you like their song.

We focus on the good but that's all we've got
It don't look like much but we know it's a lot
Every time we say goodbye could be the last time we see him alive
We focus on the good that's all we've got


EOD wives don't sit by the phone
No news is good news back at home
When their mission ready at their best
We take care of all the rest
EOD wives don't sit by the phone

And we're stronger together
Sisters forever
Oh we're stronger together
Sisters forever

Written by Mary Gauthier / Rebekah Gorsuch / Gina Canaday / Amanda Chastain / Debbi Chapman / Sarah Dooley / Sissy Moore / Ashley Cleveland

Stronger Together is available on my new album, Rifles & Rosary Beads. Click HERE to purchase.

World Premiere: "Iraq" Video

RIFLES & ROSARY BEADS AVAILABLE NOW

*Trigger warning for sensitive content

Today we debut the video for the song Iraq, a story song that I co-wrote with retired US Army Veteran Brandy Davidson. Iraq appears on my new album Rifles & Rosary Beads.

Brandy's story speaks for itself, but I'd like to offer a few words about co-writing songs with female veterans. Here's the last verse of the song:


I stood my ground, I didn't give in
I drew a line again and again
When they whistled and whispered
When the wind kicked up dust

I looked to the sky
ask the Lord why
I had no one to trust


MST.
The first time I saw those letters was about five years ago, on the day I sat down to write with a female Vietnam Veteran. She had MST tattooed on her forearm, inside a large, black, oval circle. Her aging tattoo, ink way deep in the skin of her bicep, sat right below the fold of her t-shirt.

MST.
I asked her: Annie, what is MST?
She looked me in the eye and said
"Military Sexual Trauma."

My gut lurched like an airplane losing altitude quickly. Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while a Veteran was in the military.

MST includes any sexual activity in which one is involved against one's will - he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities.

Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person's body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.

About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men respond "yes," that they experienced MST when screened by their VA provider.
*Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs Website

Female veterans often deal with sexism and sexualized violence during their service. Brandy's story, told in the song
Iraq, speaks for many. A lack of resources and support continue to prolong their fight for justice and peace.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
I hope that this song helps move things in the right direction.

Purchase here:

www.marygauthier.com

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"Still On The Ride," World Debut

4/1/18: World Debut: "Still On The Ride"

Today we are thrilled to debut the "Still On The Ride" video,
for the song I co-wrote with Veteran Josh Geartz at his first SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreat.

The story behind "Still On The Ride" is an emotional one, full of tragedy, pain healing and restoration. Featured in the March 21st CBS This Morning episode "Healing The Emotional Wounds of War Through Song," I was able to describe the process of writing
"Still On The Ride" with Josh.

"There was one preeminent thing that really was bringing him to his knees...And that was the one of the death of his best friend,"
Gauthier said.

"I think the first line is kinda where you earned my trust, you know," Geartz told Gauthier. "She's trying to get the story, and like, I don't know, looking back on what comes to mind, I was like 'Who the hell knows?' And she goes, 'Good.' And you wrote down that first line." From there, everything Geartz had been holding in just poured out -- and into the song "Still On The Ride."


Looking back now, who the hell knows
Where the soul of a dead soldier goes
Guardian angels, maybe they're true
My guardian angel, maybe it's you

I shouldn't be here, you shouldn't be gone
But it's not up to me who dies and who carries on
I sit in my room, I close my eyes
Me and my guardian angel we're still on the ride


Click HERE or above to watch the "Still On The Ride" Video.

"Still On The Ride" is the 4th track on "Rifles & Rosary Beads," my new album that features 11 songs co-written with Combat Veterans and their families.

A portion of every sale goes to the non-profit SongwritingWith:Soldiers.