Mary Gauthier Mercy Now

Mary Gauthier Mercy Now
Lots of singer-songwriters attempt to express the degradation and desperation of abuse, whether it’s caused by addiction or relationships. Mary Gauthier can cover both areas with such conviction that it’s a wonder she’s kept her sanity. The Baton Rouge, LA native, who has been fighting demons since age 15 and didn’t write her first song until age 35, emerged in 1999 with her acclaimed second album, Drag Queens In Limousines, which was followed-up three years later with the even better Filth & Fire. With Mercy Now, she and producer Gurf Morlix have crafted another dark ride that, even when Gauthier seems to lighten up, still retains the spooky mysteries of her Cajun roots. Those unfamiliar will quickly make the connection to the work of Gauthier’s fellow Cajun songstress Lucinda Williams, but the experiences that Gauthier injects into her songs are purely her own. What makes them so real is that like any dedicated recovering addict, she’s not looking for sympathy. Nowhere is that better expressed than in "I Drink,” as honest a song about the subject as has ever been done. The same can be said of "Falling out of Love” and its subject. Overall, Mercy Now is a rare occurrence where a strange comfort is derived from listening to a true survivor tell her tales, without being forced to make any judgements. Gauthier’s work should be mandatory listening for anyone attempting to write a confessional song, and Mercy Now is an early contender for album of the year. (Lost Highway)