Folk singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier has had her share of troubles. A runaway at fifteen, her early life included drug and alcohol abuse, time spent in jail and halfway houses, and -- as things slowly started looking up -- stints as a philosophy major at Louisiana State University, then culinary school, and eventually a successful restaurateur -- all before she started writing songs and performing at age 35.
Her origin story began just as dramatically: she was born to an unwed mother in 1962 and left at the St. Vincent's Women and infants Asylum on Magazine Street in New Orleans from where she was later adopted. In her latest release, The Foundling, Gauthier's songs root down into the painful experience of being abandoned, of her struggle for identity, and at age 45, the discovery of her birth mother. It was not to be a happy ending. The one phone call that she finally got up the courage to make, did not go particularly well. She writes about the conversation, "Almost fifty years later, I was still her shameful secret. She had no desire to meet me. It was too painful for her."
Gauthier took all that heartbreak and wrote the song cyle that makes up The Foundling, which has already been hailed as a "masterpiece" by No Depression magazine and received four stars from Mojo.
Gauthier will mark the official release of The Foundling with an in-store performance at ear-X-tacy on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. The performance will be followed by a meet-and-greet with fans.