Dark Enough To See The Stars
From day one, Mary Gauthier's songwriting has had a melancholy that often acts in a cathartic manner. Whether by reference to her own experiences or the observation of others, there's been an element of healing that comes with the songwriting. Indeed, a recent project has involved co-writing songs with Iraq veterans to help them with the tools to overcome the aftereffects of war. Such is her fascination with songwriting, she's written a book (aptly titled 'Saved By A Song') that goes some way to explain how her own path through songwriting has helped. The arrival of her new record, 'Dark Enough To See The Stars', suggests that she's found a happier turn in the road to explore though fans of her sadder songs will not be disappointed.
Many of the titles on this new batch of songs reflect the two themes that run through the record. Picking up on feelings around the loss of loved ones, there's 'How Could You be Gone' and ’Til I See You Again'. Balancing that loss is the solace and joy of finding new love on songs such as 'Thank God For You'. These two themes being continuously drawn together as a whole in the songs on this album.
Gauthier is joined by a variety of friends on the record. Top of the list is her part- ner, Jaimee Harris, who sings harmony throughout the album, and co-wrote 'Amsterdam', a lush celebration of sharing that much loved city and its characters. Other co-writers include Darden Smith on 'Truckers and Troubadours' which considers the similarities of the two professions and their lives on the road (following an observation by fellow collaborator Paul 'Long Haul' Marhoefer). Additionally, you'll find that Beth Nielsen Chapman helps to co-write the title track with its typical Gauthier imagery as its lyrics capture the key sentiment of the album.
On this, her eleventh album, she demonstrates how her songwriting has become increasingly polished in terms of not only the lyricism but also the simple but effectiveness of the arrangements. Whether making the evocative use of simple acoustic guitar with piano and strings, or the blues flavourings of harmonica, organ and pedal steel, 'Dark Enough To See The Stars' is another collection of songs out of the top drawer from Mary Gauthier.