Mary Gauthier (pronounced go-shay) didn't write her first song until she was 35. Before that, she lived one helluva life as a restaurateur, a runaway at 15 and an alcoholic, accumulating some great stories by the time she sat down with a guitar. Over four increasingly excellent albums, Gauthier has built a city-size cast of down-and-out characters imbibed with the humanity that can come only from experience. Like John Prine and Guy Clark, whom she has opened for, she spins tales between songs that make her even better in a live setting, where her lived-in voice and sparkling humor cast a spell that's hard to resist.
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