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Mary Gauthier Biography

Home > Music > G > Gauthier, Mary > Biography

Born: 1962/03/11
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years Active: 1990 - present
Genres: Folk

Mary Gauthier (born March 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American folk singer-songwriter. Given up at birth by a mother she never knew, Gauthier was adopted by an Italian Catholic couple in Thibodaux, Louisiana. At age 15, she ran away from home and stole her parents' car, and spent the next several years in drug rehabilitation, halfway houses, and living with friends; she spent her 18th birthday in jail. Struggling to deal with being a lesbian, she used drugs and alcohol. These experiences provided fodder for her songwriting later on (particularly her song "Drag Queens in Limousines"). Later on, she enrolled at Louisiana State University as a philosophy major. She opened a Cajun restaurant in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, Dixie Kitchen (also the eponymous title of her first album). She wrote her first song at age 35.

After the release of her first album, she sold her share in the restaurant to finance her second album, ''Drag Queens in Limousines'', in 1999. The summer of the release of this album, she was invited to play 11 major folk festivals, including the Newport Folk Festival. ''Drag Queens in Limousines'' won in The 1st Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song. In 2002 her third album,"Filth and Fire" was named "Best Indy CD of the year" by Jon Pareles of ''The New York Times'', in 2006. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee and secured a record deal with Lost Highway, a division of Universal Music, and secured a publishing deal with Harlan Howard Songs. Her first major label release, in 2005, ''Mercy Now'' was on the top 10 list for the year in dozens of publications, including ''The New York Times'', the ''Los Angeles Times'', the ''Daily News'', and ''Billboard Magazine''. She was awarded "New Artist of the Year" by The Americana Music Association the same year. Her second Lost Highway release, "Between Daylight and Dark" appeared in September 2007. She has had her songs recorded by numerous artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Bill Chambers and Candi Staton.