Filth And Fire
Apparently, Thibodeax, Louisiana native Mary Gauthier ( pronounced “Go Shay” — gotta get this out of the way ) has been making a big noise on the slightly under-the-radar music scene for a while now. Gauthier’s earlier Drag Queens in Limosines release was very well received, and though I haven’t heard it, I can certainly imagine why. Gauthier stands head-and-shoulders above most folk singer-songwriters, and she deserves a seat alongside some of Texas’s best. This recording is one of the finest singer-songwriter offerings I’ve heard in at least a year — maybe two — and the mighty-fine production efforts by Gulf Morlix really wrung the best out of this already strong body of material.
It’s really hard to compare Gauthier to other women writers, but If I had to compare her this way, I’d have to say that she’s probably closest to Lucinda Williams. However, while I’m not trying to be sexist in saying this, Ms. Gauthier writes more like man. The subject matter and the dirty and gritty life- on-the-base-level imagery is not standard fare for most women folkies — or at least any that I’m that familiar with. I’m sure that there’s probably more than one reason why.
Gauthier came up sorta hard in a rough industrial region of Louisiana between the Sugar Cane Plantations and the Petroleum Industry and she’s traveled down some very rocky and treacherous paths along her way out. Fortunately — for her, as well as the rest of us — she survived it all and she has emerged with a bounty of experiences, observations, and ideas to draw from. In this respect, she could probably be more accurately compared to survivors like Ray Wylie Hubbard, though she is different and I’ve never really heard anyone quite like her. Catch her in an intimate venue while you still can, is all I can say. This artist is destined for greatness.