Tag Archives: Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier: The Foundling

Mary Gauthier
The Foundling

Proper Records
May 18, 2010

“Gauthier’s songs startle with authority and detail. If she keeps this up, one day she may assume the mantle of Johnny Cash…” – New York Daily News


I was born to an unwed mother in 1962 and subsequently surrendered to St. Vincent’s Women and Infants Asylum on Magazine Street in New Orleans, where I spent my first year. I was adopted shortly thereafter but left my adopted family at fifteen. I wandered for years looking for, but never quite finding a place that felt like home. I searched for, found, and was denied a meeting with my birth mother when I was 45 years old. She couldn’t afford to re-open the wound she’d carried her whole life, the wound of surrendering a baby. The Foundling is my story.

Rarely is a more interesting story more frankly told than that of Mary Gauthier. (That’s “go-shay,” by the way.) Given up at birth by a mother she never knew, Mary bounced around right from the top and was adopted by parents of the Italian Catholic persuasion in Thibodoux, LA. She was a classic wild child – gay bars, detox, even prison, before she straightened out. Studied Philosophy at L.S.U., then attended Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and founded Boston’s first Cajun restaurant – drinking all the way, right up to opening night. Three big turnarounds encapsulate the story of Mary: rising above a dangerously errant youth, getting sober, and becoming a professional and heralded singer songwriter by not writing her first songs until her mid-thirties. That, and then writing so well from such a visceral and gut wrenching place that it resonates with the press, her heroes, and the audience alike. Gauthier’s stock in trade is deep portraiture of the disenfranchised and edgier characters among us, and the darker corners of the heart and soul. She shows the hard-earned knowledge of herself in her understanding and compassion for the stories of others, which she tells so well.

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