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The Foundling

Mary GauthierAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $14.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Image of album by Mary Gauthier


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MARY GAUTHIER - biography

In a Nashville bookstore, to the tune of steam hissing from a latte machine and laptop taps of nearby browsers, she speaks in a low voice, yet communicates urgently. Her voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash.

And her songs? They ... Read more in Amazon's Mary Gauthier Store

Visit Amazon's Mary Gauthier Store
for 11 albums, photos, and 1 full streaming song.

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The Foundling + Mercy Now + Between Daylight and Dark
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • ASIN: B003CLAN24
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Foundling
2. Mama Here, Mama Gone
3. Good-bye
4. Sideshow
5. Interlude 1
6. Blood Is Blood
7. March 12, 1966
8. Walk On The Water
9. Interlude 2
10. Sweet Words
11. The Orphan King
12. Another Day Borrowed
13. Coda

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MUSICAL GEM! June 3, 2010
Format:Audio CD
"The Foundling" is another gem of a CD from Mary Gauthier. She decided to write an album that told a narrative, in this case, her own story of being abandoned at birth and her search 45 years later for her birth mother. Ms. Gauthier said that she was inspired by a Willie Nelson album, where he, too, presented a unified theme across the songs. These songs are very personal and poignant, especially the rejection that Ms. Gauthier experienced when she finally located and found the courage to call her birth mother ("You say I'm a secret--nobody knows--and you can't talk about it now and you really gotta go"). This is a lovely album, and it is highly recommended for those of you who like folk singers who write intimate songs that are rich and meaningful. Ms. Gauthier has her own very individualistic style of composing songs, and her albums just get better and better.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A million miles from the radio . . . May 19, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Throughout my lifetime, I have been a fan of crying-in-your-beer, lay-your-head-on-a-railroad-track music. The Foundling is right in there with its refrain of "I want to walk in the water until my hat floats away." Mary's heart-wrenching life experiences are an indelible part of her and the lyrics born of these experiences are stark and unadulterated. The Foundling is a stunning piece of work. No Depression declares that MG has "created her first masterpiece." ". . .great art that reminds listeners of what the blues could be, but rarely are." " . . . the most raw, brave and ultimately satisfying album I've heard in a very long time. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant."

In the middle of her misery, along comes the song "Sideshow" replete with fiddle and horns. While this song is written with a wink and a nod, and tongue planted firmly in cheek, the lyrics also ring undoubtedly true---a feat which can only be achieved by a great songwriter.

People stare and then they walk away
There's always a few who stay
From the stage I watch `em close their eyes
Like a little kid trying to hide
Like they're somewhere they ain't supposed to be
Watching something they ain't supposed to see
Giving into the undertow
In the dark at the sideshow

I make a living at the sideshow
It's a place where the wounded go
Far away from the bright lights
Hard to find on a dark night
Another truly troubled troubadour
Writing songs to even up the score
A tune for every single body blow
And I sing `em at the side show

And who likes to think about their pain
Most people would avoid the rain
A sunny song will help you make it through
(undetermined lyric)
Too many songs about happiness
Leave me sad and lonely and depressed
A million miles from the radio
You can find me at the sideshow
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It captures Gauthier's talent so well May 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I saw Gauthier at a performance for a group of radio industry professionals. It was by far the highlight of the conference. Her songs are about loneliness and heartache, so they aren't light by any means. But they don't bring me down. Rather she is such a compelling storyteller that I am interested in the people she describes. I want to know about their lives. I don't want to tune them out. It's a bit like watching "The Grapes of Wrath." It's a part of America I should know about and Gauthier has the voice and the words to do the stories justice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, Haunting, Beautiful July 20, 2010
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
The Foundling starts with Mary Gauthier's sorrowful acapella moan "A foundling, a foundling, looking for home. Wanders through darkness and travels alone."

And thus sets the tone for the rest of The Foundling, a 13-song opus dedicated to Gauthier's childhood as an adoptee and her adulthood search for her real mother. This is sad music to its core: the music itself is subdued, languid and echoey, like it was recorded in a dark, empty, cold room, underscoring the loss that Gauthier undeniably felt. Minor keys are plentiful. And the words are heart-wrenching: snippets such as "this night has no ended/this darkness no ending/descending descending/mama here, mama gone" illustrate the depths of Gauthier's pain, and make this listener glad he's not in such anguish. In one word, this album is forlorn.

And yet despite having a singular subject, The Foundling hits many different notes, and is beautiful to boot. Gauthier skips across several different styles, from traditional guitar folk to zydeco (she IS from New Orleans) to rock (almost), and does so with confidence and skill. Musically, the album is stellar, especially the lovely fiddle work. And lyrically, there are moments that almost seem like hope or strength: "but I still believe in love" over and over again in "The Orphan King." The occasional lifting fiddle line hints at something sunnier.

But the album never gets there. There's no escaping that this is a sad country album with no happy ending. This might upset some people, but from this reviewer's perspective, facing the unflinching truth is one way to make great art in this world. And as a lover of art, I welcome albums like this into my life, if only to give me a glimpse into something I myself will never experience.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In shock at how great this album is June 16, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Mary Gauthier has been compared to almost every important Americana musician from the past couple of decades, and all of those comparisons are warranted, if you listen to "The Foundling." That said, I think she carves out a very personal space in the world of music right now. Based on the autobiographical story of her own adoption, including her search for her mother and the disappointing phone call that made her realize they wouldn't have a connection.

"March 11, 1962" is the most obviously gut-wrenching-- a spoken word track approximating the phone call between Mary and her estranged mother. I've never heard a line like, 'I know we're strangers, but/ We might just hurt the same.'

Using haunting phrases, though, is Mary's longsuit-- look to songs like, "Blood is Blood," where she says, "I've got a hole in me like I was never born." WOW.

If you're wondering what it sounds like, the album was produced by Mike Timmons (Cowboy Junkies) and though it's certainly a Mary Gauthier album, it has the Timmons watermark all over it. Between the interludes and the final coda, all of the orchestration paired with devastating subtlety, this album is a masterpiece.

Every song on here is special and stunning. I can't say enough about it. I've written about it on my personal blog-- [...] -- where I'm giving away one free copy. I'd advise everyone to enter or purchase your own copy-- this is a remarkable album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Meets the Expectations We've Come to Expect
This album may be a little difficult for some people to listen to- but I found it to be one of Gauthier's best. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Bill W
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding album
What a fantastic album! This is a work about Mary Gaultier having been given up for adoption when very young, the pain the knowledge of it has brought her and her attempt to... Read more
Published on April 18, 2012 by Sid Nuncius
5.0 out of 5 stars A common theme in childhood....abandonment
Listening to Mary with her mournful and eerie sound, you get a good picture of her life. In this case, the theme here is abandonment in this concept album. Read more
Published on January 22, 2012 by ⚫ RIZZO ⚫
5.0 out of 5 stars The bitter truth
I am late to the party in appreciating the artistry of Mary Gauthier. I first heard of her from her recording of Mercy Now used on the BBC television program Case Histories. Read more
Published on November 8, 2011 by Mike Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes straight to the heart, deeply moving.
This album is healing. Seriously one of the most beautiful collections of music I've ever heard. Listen to the lyrics, Mary Gauthier is one of the great talents of our time. Read more
Published on January 13, 2011 by Liz242
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's life story - dark and brooding, but worth a listen.
The first thing to say is that this album is definitely not background music. It is a downbeat album, but Mary has a very moving story to tell. Read more
Published on October 18, 2010 by Peter Durward Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars From the heart
Mary Gauthier certainly wrote and sings from her broken heart experiences of being abandoned and adopted. Read more
Published on August 9, 2010 by emmyloufan
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring, Stunning and Utterly Breathtaking!!! Heavy Stuff....
The Foundling is Gauthier's 6th album and is quite an achievement, both musically and personally. The album explores Gauthier's own abandonment by her birthmother and her... Read more
Published on August 8, 2010 by A. Boyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brilliant CD!
Once again, Mary Gauthier has written a finely crafted, emotionally-loaded CD. If you want happy music, The Foundling may not be your best choice. Read more
Published on August 6, 2010 by J. Bean
5.0 out of 5 stars Billybob
This work is stunning. It is haunting. Quality of the music is very good. About 4 or 5 times during the CD you want to hug Mary and tell her it is OK. Absolutely amazing work. Read more
Published on July 31, 2010 by Billybob
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