When I spoke to alt-country singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier (pronounced “go-shay”), she was in Los Angeles on the first day of a nearly month-long cross-country tour. I joked that because she was just getting started, she wouldn’t be burned out by the time she got to Eugene 10 days later. Gauthier responded quickly and insistently: “I don’t get burned out. This is my job and I love it. This is a privilege. I may get tired but I would never call it burned out.”
Gauthier was born in New Orleans. Her early life was a tumble of adoptive parents, running away, drinking and jail — all fodder for her raw, emotional songwriting. She says it took her a while to work through “the process” of realizing that she could articulate what she wanted to say through music. But now that she’s figured it out, she has no regrets. “Not for one second,” she says.
Fans can expect to hear up to 10 new songs on an as-yet-unnamed album that Gauthier will release in early 2014. “It’s a continuation of the story I’ve been telling all along,” she explains. “I live life and then I write about it and then I play it. It’s very much about my experiences; that’s the kind of writer that I am.” She has pulled from the hardships of her early life but no longer needs to. “I’ve got enough new hardships to pull from!” she says, laughing.
“Life’s hard. Conflict is what makes stories great and that’s what I do — I write about the difficulties and the joys of being in relationships,” she says. “There’s a quote from Willie Nelson that I like: ‘Ninety percent of the people on Earth end up with the wrong people and that’s what makes the jukebox spin.’”
Mary Gauthier plays with Larry Pattis 8 pm Monday, Nov. 18, at Cozmic; $15.50 adv., $18 door. — Vanessa Salvia