17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2007
This is yet another amazing, dark, moving album from Mary Gauthier, whose consistency has led to five great albums. Needless to say, I am already a big fan of Mary's.
Upon first listen, this album is more sparse, having been recorded live, lacking the smooth production of her other albums which have collaborated with Gurf Morlix in Nashville. But the intensity begins from the beginning notes. Her singing is a bit rough, less polished, but just as moving. Sometimes I think her music is like a female Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, with a southern drawl and an older-person's edge. Her "Can't Find the Way," about the flood in her native New Orleans, is gripping. Another standout for me is "Soft Place to Land." If you get interested in Mary through this album, please go back and enjoy, in turn, each of her other four gems.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2007
At Joe's Pub in NYC last Friday night, Mary Gauthier told a largely gray head audience that she doesn't write happy songs. I suppose that is strictly true, but, with apologies to her and her understanding of what she writes, I don't think it's enough to leave it at that. Good things do not often happen in her songs, it is true. But the circumstances of those bad things lead sometimes to acts of love, kindness and, most importantly, carrying on. Her subjects are battered, but not beaten by what life deals them. This has been a constant in her work from the beginning. Check out, for example, the parents in Skeleton Town from her very first CD, the optimistic-despite-it-all Christmas in Paradise from Filth and Fire and the title cut from her last, Mercy Now (an even more moving acoustic, violin-accompanied version of MN closed out Friday's set).
But she has never pulled everything together as well as she does on Between Daylight and Dark. With quiet and unadorned production from Joe Henry, Mary Gauthier has stepped out of whatever shadow Lucinda Williams was still casting over her with her own Car Wheels on a Gravel Road -- a CD stuffed with one great song after another that captures where we are as individuals in and out of love (Before You Leave, Please, and I Ain't Leaving) and as a country grapping with violence and the end of frontiers (Snakebit and Last of the Hobo Kings).
Five stars is way too few for this CD.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2007
This lady can do no wrong. As a singer/songwriter she knocks the 'fluffy' new country bimbo's for six, male and female! If she had been around at the time she could have fitted in, no trouble, as a woman, with the original Nashville outlaws, Cash. Kristofferson, Nelson and co. Her music goes from strength to strength and I recommend anyone who has not heard her and likes their country,folk, americana music, call it what you will, with an 'edge' to listen, really listen, to this singer songwriter. She is brillient.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first song I heard of Mary Gauthier was "Can't Find The Way", which reveals the pain of Katrina survivors. Those involved can feel and relive the experience, but mostly, what the rest of us only viewed or read about, the devastating, hardened, senseless disaster. The title says so much, how do you go home, when you can't find the way. This is eerie, love the music and the way she delivers the lyrics.
When you listen to Mary, she commands your attention, reminds me of the power of lyrics of Lucinda Williams, not quite as gritty though. Mary tells the story, and you can the images are yours.
I love "Before You Leave"; how sad, the instruments are profound, and again, it's how her voice and delivery draws one in.
A prison visit is the theme for "Thanksgiving", again, she speaks of the red tape, frustration, coldness, for ironically, what should be a beautiful day of Thanksgiving.
For memorable stories, excellent delivery, and relaxing music, listen to Mary Gauthier........ Rizzo
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2008
Sorry, MG fans. Hate to spoil the party. Gautier is an excellent songwriter and a criminally overlooked artist, but this is not Mary at her best.
Joe Henry produced this release and his production or "sound" almost ruins this release for me. Mary Gautier's music works best with rudimentary backing. The percussion here almost distracts from the music. It's too atmospheric. He tinkers with her basic sound just enough to call attention away from the songs.
The songwriting isn't quite as good as I've come to expect, either. Thanksgiving and Last of the Hobo Kings stand up with her best, but the lyrics to A Soft Place to Land almost sound trite ("I'm crashing through the clouds I used to walk on")
Gautier voice is such that the less she tries the better she sounds. I find a whining quality to her voice here that I have never noticed before.
When I listen to the CD I find myself--about halfway in--wanting to hear the far superior Mercy Now. That is a stunning release. Between Daylight and Dark sounds kinda recycled.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2011
Finding Mary was a accident. A very good accident. She is so real as her music is so much about her own experience in her life, She shares so much of her self in her writing. I would, will, do buy anything by Mary Gauthier. She never fails to tell you a story with music, feelings, life. I highly recommend her as a artist of this century. Listen and she will be your best friend to, this is how you feel about Mary~~~
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2008
i do not think i can top anything that the other reviewers have said about mary g's musical genius and the haunting beauty of this cd. i can only add that as i listen to the lyrics embraced by the music i am moved to the depths of my soul and memories of darker times in my own life. i find in listening to this, a cathartic reaction that brings out the spectrum of emotions associated with those times. the sadness, loneliness and despondency of the past, but also the rising above and defeating those demons that would want to trample my spirit. this cd is a testament to the human spirit overcoming the hard times found in many relationships and just in life in general. "before you leave", "same road", "i ain't leaving" and the triumphant "thanksgiving" are my latest favorites on this cd. and i would remisss in failing to mention one of the greatest songs ever composed, "can't find the way". i find myself listening to this repeatedly and not wanting to stop listening to it. it has captivated me. i would recommend this to anyone and everyone and it is definitely in my top ten greatest albums of all time. all time! and i have been listening carefully and closely to a variety of musical styles -- songwriters and composers for over 50 years.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2011
I love every song on this album...I bought it for "I Ain't Leaving," and usually, you're lucky if you like more than one song from an artist you are fairly unfamiliar with...but I am now a Mary Gauthier fan!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2007
With Between Daylight and Dark Mary Gauthier has created one of those masterpieces that reminds you of those age od words of Keats'. Just as that grecian urn carried the secrets of Ancient Greece and delivered them into the hands of a young John Keats, this album carries the beauty and poetry of another underclass into our hands. Most of us have never been homeless and most of us merely watched on TV as other people lost their homes to Katrina. Mary brings these memories home to us with an unwavering realism that forces us to take notice. And, she is not merely a study in heartbreak as she also finds the redemption of Thanksgiving in prison and the love within a group of railroad tramps. Mary reaches straight into the center of her stories and brings back nothing but the heart.
on January 24, 2008
I first heard "I Ain't Leaving" on the radio while driving through Oregon and couldn't wait until the end of vacation to look up the station on the internet and research their programming. Gauthier, pronounced "Go Shay", I am sure is a hindrance to discovering her, but the only one and well worth the search. One cannot describe her. She takes you to places you don't want to go and her depth of lyrics introduces you to people you don't want to meet when you get there. As sad as their endings, I dare to say, her works are very redeeming. She plays stories from memory and she earned every note
she has written by rising one step higher away from a past of both shame and incredible gain. She is a champion. I bought all five albums at once. There is no way I could only buy one chapter of her incredible and musical life.