The New Orleans-born singer-songwriter, who now resides in Nashville, says her process “is to write and write and write, and once I get 10 songs I truly believe in, then I find the producer that suits those songs and have him bring it to life.” But getting those songs can be an ordeal; Gauthier (pronounced go-SHAY) considered nearly 40 for this year’s “Between Daylight and Dark” and “had to get rid of several songs that didn’t go deep enough and weren’t exactly what I wanted to say.”
“I’m such a slow writer; it takes a lot of energy and time to get 10 songs that I believe in and want to do,” says Gauthier, 45. “This is really a full-time job for me.”
Gauthier says a course correction helped “Between Daylight and Dark,” which was produced by Rochester Adams graduate (and Madonna’s brother-in-law) Joe Henry. “After Katrina I set out to write a whole record telling the story about New Orleans and what happened,” she says. “I had in my mind to make a historical document kind of record.
“Then, after six months of banging my head, I realized all I’m writing is ‘I’m (angry) and I hate the government” songs. They were unlistenable, even for me — just one-dimensional and didn’t get to the place I wanted to, which has something to do with transcending specific events. I kept some of that but found other things to write about, and it worked out a lot better.”
Mary Gauthier performs with Melissa Ferrick at 8 p.m. Monday (Nov. 5) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.