Mary Gauthier  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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, Mary 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. 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, but after five years there, dropped out due to drug problems and moved to Boston. After working as a dishwasher and eventually being promoted to manager of the restaurant where she worked, financial backers paid her way to Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and she opened a Cajun restaurant in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, Dixie Kitchen (also the title of her first album). She wrote her first song at age 35. Although lesbian, she doesn't consider her work to be especially influenced by her sexuality.

After the release of her first album, she sold her share in the restaurant to finance her second album, Drag Queens in Limousines. The summer of the release of this album, she was invited to play 11 major folk festivals, including Newport Folk Festival. Her third album,"Filth and Fire" was named indie CD of the year by Jon Pareles of the New York Times. She moved to Nashville,TN and secured a record deal with Lost Highway, a division of Universal Music. She also secured a publishing deal with Harlan Howard Songs. Her first major label release' "Mercy Now" was on the top 10 list for the year 2005 in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, The LA Times, New York Daily News, and Billboard Magazine, she was awarded New Artist of the year by The Americana Music Association. Her second Lost Highway release, "Between Daylight and Dark" came out September 2007.


  • Dixie Kitchen (1997)
  • Drag Queens in Limousines (1999)
  • Filth and Fire (2002)
  • Mercy Now (2005)
  • Between Daylight and Dark (2007)

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