September Newsletter: Saved By A Song

September News

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Song School
Lyons, Colorado


On August 14th, the sky in Lyons, Colorado filled with electricity and nature showed off some of her powers. It reminded me of the way I look at songwriting, and prompted a new passage in my book on songwriting.

"I see songwriting as a kind of midwifery. Like children, songs show up knowing who they are. I can influence them, but the songs arrive with personalities of their own. So, if songs are coming from somewhere else, my work is to be a receiver. With lightning rod in hand, I hope to conduct electricity by collecting flashes of ideas and inspiration.

As I work, I ride the edge between what I know, my subconscious, and what hasn't happened yet. As I step into the emptiness of my unknowing and create something from nothing, I get the sense that I am co-creating. I do not know what the electricity flowing through me will manifest, or what my efforts at conducting will light up. Often, it is nothing at all!

I am not in charge of the flow. I cannot switch it on or off. All I can do is show up, and direct my focused effort into it, and believe in the process.

Sometimes I sit at my writing desk for hours before I can access the state of mind where I am not "writing," but listening. There is a deep and profound mystery at the core of song creation, a sacred riddle.

Each song makes requests of me, through my gut, or solar plexus.

It is the third chakra, the gut feeling, that helps me get rid of untruths. When I write untruths or stray from the path of authenticity, my gut feels it. It senses the falseness and whispers a message to work harder. My job as a songwriter is to rid the song of dishonesty. This is neither simple nor easy - the process is almost always one of discovery.

I work to see what I have not yet seen.

Every song is a new beginning, a new life entering the world."

- Mary Gauthier, Excerpt from "Saved By A Song"
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

I'm honored to be a part of this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Lineup! We hope to see you in San Francisco October 4th-6th. Find more details at www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com.

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UK & IRELAND TOUR
NOVEMBER 2019


UK Americana Music Association's International Artist of the Year 2019

I am excited to return to the UK and Ireland this fall with Jaimee Harris and Michele Gazich. We will play seven dates, including the Fitzroy Church in Belfast, Whelan's in Dublin, London's Union Chapel, Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh and more.

Find a full list of tour dates on my website at
www.marygauthier.com/tour.

UK & IRELAND TOUR

Three Women & The Truth | City Winery | Nashville, TN | November 29th, 2019

Three Women & The Truth | City Winery | Nashville, TN | November 29th, 2019

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MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

September 5th: Nashville, TN
The Bluebird Cafe
SOLD OUT

September 6th: Nashville, TN
SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreat

September 12th: Bay Shore, NY
YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts

September 13th: Rosendale, NY
Rosendale Cafe

September 14th: Jersey City, NJ
Hudson West Folk Festival

September 15th: Freehold, NJ
Concerts In The Studio

September 21st: Columbus, OH
Ohio Lesbian Festival

September 26th: Boston, MA*
City Winery Boston

September 27th: Fall River, MA*
Narrows Center for the Arts

September 28th: Norfolk, CT*
Infinity Hall & Music Bistro

*with Gretchen Peters & Friends

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

July Newsletter: Find Your Writer's Voice

Mary Gauthier Songwriting Workshop
July 11-14, 2019
Thistle Farms Cafe | Nashville, TN

*TWO SPOTS LEFT*

I will be working with songwriters of all levels for a three-day songwriting intensive in July at Thistle Farms Cafe Education Space.

Do you have a story to tell?
Are you looking for the courage and motivation to tell your story?
If so, this workshop is for you. We have several folks who have joined us over the years who are not songwriters, but participated in the workshop to find new ways to understand storytelling. Everyone interested in story, be it their own or the story of others, is welcome!

This work is a journey into the mystery of what our songs can teach us.

"Art is a walk from the known towards the unknown. The noble goal of the art of song is to take risks, become emotionally honest, and create deep resonance with self and listeners.

I push myself and invite my students to break through fear-based ruts. I encourage piercing through the unknown to make it known - that students may discover and know the truth of their own unique voice.

My hope is to encourage each songwriter
to write the songs only he or she can write."
- Mary Gauthier

READ MORE: SONGWRITING WORKSHOP

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RIFLES & ROSARY BEADS
Nominated for Best Country/Americana Album
2019 Libera Awards


I am honored that Rifles & Rosary Beads was nominated for Best Country/Americana Album at this year's Libera Awards!

"The Libera Awards is the largest independent music award show in the world. It celebrates the successes of the independent music community,
from the artists that create the music to the labels that release and promote it."
- www.liberaawards.com

Congratulations to all of the nominees, and to John Prine for taking home the award in New York City last week!

STREAM RIFLES & ROSARY BEADS

BULLET HOLES IN THE SKY

"And they thank me for my service
and wave their little flags
They genuflect on Sundays
and yes, they'd send us back

But I believe in God and country
and in angels up on high
And in heaven shining down on us
through bullet holes in the sky..."

- "Bullet Holes In The Sky"
Mary Gauthier & Jamie Trent

VIEW BULLET HOLES IN THE SKY VIDEO

NEW "MERCY NOW"
TEA TOWELS


Please visit my web store for these new "Mercy Now" Tea Towels! At just $12, these make great gifts! You can also find our "Mercy Now" T-Shirts and handwritten lyrics in our online store at the link below.

www.marygauthier.com/store

NEW MARY GAUTHIER
AUTOGRAPHED POSTER


Please visit my web store for these new autographed Mary Gauthier posters!

www.marygauthier.com/store.

VISIT MARY GAUTHIER STORE

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UK & IRELAND TOUR
NOVEMBER 2019


UK Americana Music Association's International Artist of the Year 2019

Just announced! I am excited to return to the UK and Ireland this fall with Jaimee Harris and Michele Gazich. We will play seven dates, including the Fitzroy Church in Belfast, Whelan's in Dublin, London's Union Chapel, Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh and more.

Find a full list of tour dates on my website at
www.marygauthier.com/tour

UK & IRELAND TOUR

Michele Gazich & Mary Gauthier

Michele Gazich & Mary Gauthier

MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

July 11th: Nashville, TN
Performing Songwriter Workshop:
Finding Your Writer's Voice

August 8th: Calgary, AB
Bella Concert Hall

August 10th: Edmonton, AB
Edmonton Folk Music Festival

August 27th: Albuquerque, NM
Outpost Performance Space

August 29th: Taos, NM
Casa de Musica Songwriter Workshop
with Eliza Gilkyson

September 15th: Freehold, NJ
Concerts In The Studio

September 21st: Columbus, OH
Ohio Lesbian Festival

September 27th: Fall River, MA*
Narrows Center for the Arts

September 28th: Norfolk, CT*
Infinity Hall & Music Bistro

*with Gretchen Peters & Friends

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

June Newsletter: New Merchandise!

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June News

 Happy Summer! Brand New Autographed Mary Gauthier Posters are here in the web store.

We also now have Mercy Now Tea Towels available, featuring the Mercy Now lyrics. Makes a great gift!

"My father could use a little mercy now
The fruits of his labor
Fall and rot slowly on the ground
His work is almost over
Won't be long, he won't be around
I love my father,
And he could use some mercy now..."
 

VISIT MARY GAUTHIER STORE

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MERCY NOW TEA TOWEL

These new Mercy Now Tea Towels have been very popular since we debuted them on my website just one week ago. Take home some of your favorite song lyrics with a personal touch.
For just $12, they also make great gifts!

PURCHASE MERCY NOW TEA TOWEL

"Mercy Now" | Mary Gauthier with Michele Gazich | Paste Studios | 2/7/18
New York City

MERCY NOW

"Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race
Towards another mushroom cloud
There's people in power
Who'll do anything to keep their crown
I love life, and life itself could use some mercy now..."
 

VIEW MERCY NOW VIDEO

Photo Credit: Paolo Brillo L to R: Michele Gazich, Mary Gauthier, Jaimee Harris

Photo Credit: Paolo Brillo
L to R: Michele Gazich, Mary Gauthier, Jaimee Harris

SUMMER TOUR 

I am out on the road for a run of shows in Texas this week with Jaimee Harris and Michele Gazich. We play our second SOLD OUT show at Cactus Cafe tonight, June 1st, in Austin and then head to the midwest for shows in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 5th and in Chicago on June 6th at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

Please see my full June schedule below and on my website atwww.marygauthier.com. We hope to see you at a show near you!

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EDMONTON FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
ON SALE JUNE 1ST


What a lineup! I am honored to be a part of the 40th Annual Edmonton Folk Music Festival, taking place in Edmonton, Alberta August 8-11th, 2019.

Tickets for the festival go on sale today, June 1st.

EDMONTON FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS

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MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

June 1st: Austin, TX*
Cactus Cafe: SOLD OUT

June 5th: St. Paul, MN*
Vieux Carre

June 6th: Chicago, IL*
Old Town School of Folk Music

June 9th: Rockingham, VT*
Roots on the River: SOLD OUT

June 12th: Portsmouth, NH*
The Music Hall Loft

June 22nd: Sparta, NC
Muddy Creek Cafe: Backwoods Beat Festival

*with Jaimee Harris & Michele Gazich

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

May Newsletter: Visiting Tulsa, Oklahoma

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May News

 When Jaimee and I were in Tulsa for the Woody Guthrie Center 6th Anniversary Celebration last weekend, we had a chance to sing for the beautiful women of The Women In Recovery Center.

Oklahoma has the highest rate of female imprisonment per capita in the United States and turning this around takes commitment and vision. The Women In Recovery Center, an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses, is making a huge difference in this state.

This amazing organization has been changing women's lives with their long-term, visionary work. We are grateful to the Kaiser Foundation for their funding for this amazing place, and to Diane Hughes for showing us around. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing women and hear their stories.

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WITH AUTHOR JOE KLEIN

We had the great privilege of meeting author and journalist Joe Klein at The Woody Guthrie Center Anniversary Celebration. Joe wrote "Woody Guthrie: A Life," along with "Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics." Joe's "Woody Guthrie: A Life" is the only authorised biography on Woody ever written. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy and dig in, it's brilliant. And while you're at it, watch the movie made from his book Primary Colors. I re-watched it last night, and loved it even more all these years (and elections) later...

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WOODY GUTHRIE CENTER

Woody Guthrie's work is the supreme example of the fact that songs can be conduits for compassion and empathy. He reminds us that songs are a roadmap into stranger's heart which upon inspection mirrors our own. Music and song can temporarily bring us to a place that does not yet exist here on earth; a place where we are safe and connected and of one heart. Woody was right: he was a teacher, not an entertainer. And what a great teacher, indeed.

If you haven't been to The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, I encourage you to visit for a few days. The trip would be a weekend well spent.

VISIT WOODY GUTHRIE CENTER 

L to R: Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Mary Gauthier, Yolanda Adams, Neil Portnow (President/CEO of the Recording Academy), Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Kristin Chenoweth

L to R: Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Mary Gauthier, Yolanda Adams, Neil Portnow (President/CEO of the Recording Academy), Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Kristin Chenoweth

GRAMMYS ON THE HILL

On April 9th I had the honor of joining fellow music makers in Washington, DC to fight for the rights of songwriters, producers, engineers and performers. I sat with senators and members of congress and talked about issues affecting the music business, lobbying for their support of music makers.

"GRAMMYS On The Hill was a night that brought Capitol Hill together to celebrate the wins and the contributions of the music community."
- GRAMMY Advocacy

Photo Credit: Broken Record/The Globe and Mail L to R: Rick Rubin, Bruce Headlam, Malcolm Gladwell, Robbie Robertson

Photo Credit: Broken Record/The Globe and Mail
L to R: Rick Rubin, Bruce Headlam, Malcolm Gladwell, Robbie Robertson

MALCOLM GLADWELL PODCAST

I was honored to be a recent guest on the second season of Malcolm's "Broken Record" podcast. Rick Rubin produced the final version, and it came out GREAT. Click the link below to listen to the interview.

"So the world-class theorist Malcolm Gladwell and the music producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin were chatting and having tea in Bob Dylan's old tour bus. The rusting thing sits marooned behind Rubin's Shangri-La studio in Malibu." - The Globe and Mail, 4/2/9

LISTEN TO BROKEN RECORD PODCAST

READ MORE

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MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

May 2nd: Nashville, TN*
The Bluebird Cafe: SOLD OUT

May 4th: Northfield, MN*
The Northfield Arts Guild Theater

May 7th: Spring Green, WI*
Shi*tty Barn Sessions

May 9th: East Lansing, MI*
Pump House Concerts

May 10th: Ann Arbor, MI*
Green Wood Coffee House

May 17th: Boston, MA**
City Winery

May 18th: Newburyport, MA**
Belleville Roots Series

May 19th: Bath, ME**
Chocolate Church Arts Center

May 25th: Greenville, TX
Texan Theatre

May 26th: Kerrville, TX**
Kerrville Folk Festival

May 30th: Houston, TX*
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
7PM: SOLD OUT/ 9:30PM Available

May 31st: Austin, TX*
Cactus Cafe

*with Jaimee Harris
** with Three Women & The Truth

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

Creativity & Collaboration: April Newsletter

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April News

 Happy Spring! Although we are still on the road with Rifles & Rosary Beads this year, April finds me with more creative time at home, and more opportunities for collaboration and co-writing.

I have been writing quite a few songs with Sam Williams lately. You might know Sam as the son of Hank Williams, Jr. and the grandson of Hank Williams, Sr. He was recently featured at Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival in Nashville, and I believe this young man has a bright career ahead. I love writing with him. His voice lights up my writing room!

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4/27: WOODY GUTHRIE CENTER 6TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW

We are honored to help celebrate the 6th Anniversary of The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, April 27th at 2:30PM.

This free show on Guthrie Green will also feature performances by HuDost, Jaimee Harris, Guy Davis and Ramy Essam. Please join us if you can!

FIND TICKETS FOR WOODY GUTHRIE CENTER SHOW

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NEW YORK CITY

Here we are, hanging with the master of the Telecaster! Jaimee and I had the great privilege of playing with G.E. Smith at The City Winery in New York City on March 22nd. We shared the stage for Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders Show, and helped celebrate their 10-year Anniversary.
NYC, we love you!

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MALCOLM GLADWELL PODCAST

I loved being a guest on Malcolm Gladwell's "Broken Record" podcast, produced by Rick Rubin, and released on March 26th. We talked about Rifles & Rosary Beads, and the journey of songwriting with Veterans.

"In his years as a journalist, Malcolm Gladwell has a reputation for his ability to draw disparate information into a single point." - Vanity Fair, 3/14/19

"War After The War" - Named Best Song of 2018 by Malcolm Gladwell, NPR

STREAM RIFLES & ROSARY BEADS

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MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

April 5th: Nashville, TN
The Grand Ole Opry

April 13th: Tampa, FL*
The Attic at Rock Brothers

April 14th: Silverhill, AL*
Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

April 25th: Columbia, MO*
Eastlake Concert Series: SOLD OUT

April 27th: Tulsa, OK*
Woody Guthrie Center

April 28th: Kansas City, MO*
Knuckleheads Saloon

*with Jaimee Harris

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

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Purchase Rifles & Rosary Beads on CD or Vinyl

"You'll be hard-pressed to hear a more powerfully moving work than
Rifles & Rosary Beads - this year, or any other."


-LA TIMES

March Newsletter

Rifles & Rosary Beads Wins Album of the Year at Folk Alliance International

March News

On February 13th, Rifles & Rosary Beads was named Album of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards in Montreal, Canada!  Folk Alliance has been important to me since I picked up a guitar, and I am truly grateful for this honor! 

I wish I could have been there to accept the award in person, but I was performing on the Cayamo "Journey Through Song" Cruise in Jamaica.

Thank you again to The Folk Alliance International, and thank you to all of you for the incredible international support of this record! 

STREAM RIFLES & ROSARY BEADS

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THE GRAMMYS 2019

Thank you so much for following along with us on our 10-Day Countdown to The GRAMMYS! Your heartfelt comments and feedback on our social media posts helped bring each song back to life as we looked back on this amazing year with Rifles & Rosary Beads.

I am sad that we didn't win the statue, but we sure looked good!

I am absolutely honored to be on this ride. Thank you to all of my veteran co-writers, the military spouse co-writers and SongwritingWith:Soldiers!
We took it to the finals! 

2019 GRAMMYS: NOMINEES AND WINNERS

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JOHN PRINE & MARY GAUTHIER | 2019 GRAMMY AWARDS

"Some of those among the two dozen participants noted from the stage that they'd never met Prine but deeply admire his music; others have worked closely with him for many years, including acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier, who told the audience when she stepped on stage to sing 'The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness': 'I have no idea where my career would be if it were not for John Prine.' From his seat on a bench several feet above and away from the stage, he called down 'We love you, Mary!'"
- LA TIMES

READ "John Prine Salute Opens A Window" - Randy Lewis, LA TIMES

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MARY GAUTHIER ON TOUR

March 1st: Calgary, AB*
Bella Concert Hall

March 2nd: St. Albert, AB*
The Arden Theatre

March 6th: Nashville, TN**
The Bluebird Cafe

March 23rd: New York, NY*
City Vineyard
"Voices On The Hudson"

March 24th: Washington, DC*
City Winery DC

*with Jaimee Harris
**In The Round

VIEW ALL TOUR DATES

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

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!

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

Practicing Empathy

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While I was at the British Airways counter in Nashville checking into my flight to Milan to begin my Europe tour, an elderly woman lost control of her suitcase on the escalator behind me. Her cane fell out of her hand, she fell forward, then tumbled three quarters of the way down the moving stairs. Someone below figured out how to hit the escalator’s stop button as she was falling, and when it stopped, a small group of people instinctively rushed up the stairs to help her as she laid in a bloody heap three quarters of the way down.

I saw the scene from two floors above. There was blood, a lot of blood.

A small group of people held the injured woman in their arms on the stopped escalator, applying pressure to the spots on her gashed head and body, trying to slow the bleeding. Someone else called an ambulance.
 
I did not watch for long, the group of strangers below were helping, and it felt wrong for me to stare at the awful scene. There was nothing I could do. As I turned away to make my way to my gate, tears came. I had a hard time controlling my emotions.

My girlfriend grabbed my hand, told me the woman would be taken to a hospital, and she'd be patched up. She was going to be all right. She would not be traveling for a while, but she would be all right. As my partner consoled me, I struggled to contain my tears. We walked slowly to our gate.

To watch a frail person fall down and get seriously hurt is heart breaking. This kind of raw human vulnerability and helplessness is devastating to witness. Then to see stranger’s immediately rushing in to help, and to have a partner whose hand immediately reached for mine, reminded me that while we live in a dark time of division and rage, we human beings are also programmed for empathy and loving kindness for each other. This brought me to the brink of weeping. Kindness and empathy are as vital to our survival as food and water.

The elderly woman who fell down the escalator was probably someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother. The kind strangers who rushed up the moving stairs to help her, acting on a primal impulse to love, were in some ways sitting in for the old woman’s children, grandchildren, husband. Her loved ones, who were not there to help her at her most fragile moment, needed surrogates. Strangers did the job of family, until family could be summoned. I am certain that her family is grateful for their help.

We are all vulnerable, fragile, visitors to this planet, hanging out for a short while in flesh and blood human bodies. We are all aging daily - as are our parents and our grandparents. Time moves us all closer and closer to frailty every single day.

In Holland, I was able to return to the the KRÖLLER-MÜLLER MUSEUM for the second time. The Kröller-Müller Museum boasts the second-largest Vincent van Gogh collection in the world: almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. The van Gogh Gallery displays varying selections of about 40 works by Vincent van Gogh. As I walked through the gallery and took in the masters work again, what struck me most this time was his ability to convey deep empathy in his paintings. He makes us feel what he feels. He does it with brush strokes, use of colour, and deep feeling. Generating empathy, to me, is the higher purpose of art. Vincent wrote to his brother Theo, "Real painters do not paint things as they are ...They paint them as they themselves feel them to be.” This, I believe, is what artists do.

We do need each other. Even now, (especially now), as hatred and division on our screens and in our politics try and convince us that it is not true.

I am going to hang on, hang in. Try to stay with love. I hope you will too.

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.

"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

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

All Retailers:
http://smarturl.it/riflesrosarybeads
 

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

"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.

"Healing The Emotional Wounds of War Through Song:" April Newsletter

Mary Gauthier with James House, Veteran and Co-Writer Josh Geartz, Lisa Geartz and CBS Film Crew at The Grand Ole Opry

"Healing The Emotional Wounds of War Through Song"

3/21/18: Click To Watch CBS This Morning

Happy Easter!
Welcome To My April Newsletter!


"I looked out the window as the veterans were starting to arrive. And I saw Josh and Lisa pull up...and I saw the pain. And I'm looking out my window. My first thought was, 'He's mine'...I have to write with that guy!" I remembered. "It was almost like a red hot fireball was inside of him. And I knew that the song could take that red hot fireball and make it tangible and we could toss it out into the group, and it would not only take some of the infection out of him, but it would give courage to the group and be useful for other people."

On March 21st, CBS This Morning aired "Healing The Emotional Wounds of War Through Song," as part of their "A More Perfect Union" Series. The episode, which reached 4 million viewers, featured Veteran and Co-writer Josh Geartz, and the work we've done through SongwritingWith:Soldiers. The CBS This Morning producer said "it made him cry, it's so damn good," and "it's the first time he ever teared up editing his own work." 


Watch this week's episode of CBS This Morning, "Healing the Emotional Wounds of War Through Song," by clicking HERE or the link above.

The Tour Continues!

We are so grateful for so many SOLD OUT shows in March! Thank you for coming to see us in the Midwest and on the West Coast.

My Album Release Tour continues April 18th in Portland, Maine. Please visit the
full tour schedule below for all of the details.

For my local friends, I have a few events coming up in Nashville, including a Live, In-Store Performance at Grimey's on Thursday, April 5th, at 6PM.

We hope to see you soon! Thank you for all of your support!
~ Mary

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.

The New York Times - "After War, Three Chords and The Truth"

Mary Gauthier with Veteran and Co-Writer Josh Geartz on stage in Franklin, TN   Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford for The New York Times

Mary Gauthier with Veteran and Co-Writer Josh Geartz on stage in Franklin, TN
Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford for The New York Times

3/5/18: "After War, Three Chords and the Truth" - The New York Times
Click Here to Read Full Article

Welcome to My March Newsletter! Happy Spring! 

What an honor to welcome Veterans Josh Geartz and Britney Pfad at our sold out "Rifles & Rosary Beads" Album Release Show at The Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee on Friday, February 23rd. Josh, who traveled to Franklin from Buffalo, New York with his family, received a standing ovation when he joined us onstage to play harmonica during "Still On The Ride," the song he co-wrote with me at his first SongwritingWith:Soldiers Retreat.

Album producer Neilson Hubbard and Joshua Britt presented a special screening of their "Rifles & Rosary Beads" Documentary, which recently won the Inspiration Award at the 2018
Cinema On The Bayou Film Festival in Lafayette, Lousiana.

Thank you to everyone involved for making the Album Release Show a very memorable evening!

The reviews of Rifles & Rosary Beads are in, and the response to this record has been tremendous. I've included Press Highlights below, with links to each article.

Read this week's full article in
The New York Times, "After War, Three Chords and the Truth," by clicking the link above.

A portion of every sale goes to the non-profit SongwritingWith:Soldiers,
and I've already given them a check for $8,000!

The Album Release Tour continues this week, and I hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows. I am heading to Chicago, Columbus, Ann Arbor, and Pittsburgh this week, and and then to the West Coast on March 18th! Please visit the
full tour schedule on the TOUR page for all of the details.

Thank you for all of your support!
~ Mary

Press Highlights

"...She has roamed the same dark roads as Bruce Springsteen on 'Nebraska' and Neil Young on 'Tonight's the Night'...she has a knack for devastating details, populating her lyrics with crucible kisses, ravaged rings, hissing heat pipes, vulture shadows..."
-Chicago Tribune

"The songs on 'Rifles & Rosary Beads are folk songs framed in Gauthier's smoky vocals. They go a long way to revealing the underlying traumas of a soldier's experience serving in a war while also laying bare the equally traumatic experiences of their loved ones." 
-Chicago Sun Times

"You'll be hard-pressed to hear a more powerfully moving work than Rifles & Rosary Beads - this year, or any other."
-LA TIMES

"The replacement of ready-made, comfortable niceties about the military, or generalized criticism of that life, with riveting, occasionally harrowing specifics from real lives as lived now is the strongest sort of musical salute to those who have served or stood by them. The finesse Mary Gauthier brings to this engrossing music makes this album a landmark."
-THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"...Her new record is a gift in a contemporary moment full of chatter and political rhetoric. It shows how simply telling what happened can cut through the divisions that distract us. Rifles & Rosary Beads is the product of compassion and a call for more compassion at a time when it's needed most."  
-Ann Powers, NPR World Cafe

Listen on NPR.org