Subtle percussion, grungy guitar and a hint of Hammond usher us into the first song on this new collection by one of Americana’s best know troubadours. ‘When A Woman Goes Cold’ tells the story of the heartbreak of watching a woman losing interest in a relationship. The slow agony and frustration of watching feelings harden and ultimate death of the relationship is described in the lyrics.

I wish she’d scream and shout, I wish she’d slam a door.
When A Woman Goes Cold – Mary Gauthier

Finally, the line “scorched earth cannot burn, it’s out of your control when a woman goes cold” describes the inevitable resignation and painful acceptance of the situation.

“Oh Soul” was co-written by long-time touring partner and song-writing collaborator from Northern Ireland Ben Glover. We reviewed it on Ben’s current album ‘Atlantic’ – this version featuring extra harmony vocals from Darrell Scott is no less haunting in its subject matter.

Which version is best? We’ll leave that to the listener to decide, but we look forward to seeing them touring together this spring and hopefully performing it together.

Recorded live in the studio, with minimal or no practice or demo tapes as a guide the record breathes and feels like a living entity. Mary assembled a wealth of musicians to record this album.

Guitarist Guthrie Trapp, keyboard player Jimmy Wallace, bass player Viktor Krauss, drummer Lynn Williams and singers Beth Nielsen Chapman, Ashley Cleveland and Darrell Scott, Siobhan Kennedy and The McCrary Sisters all add their own unique abilities to the record.

‘How You Learn To Live Alone’ is a song that about coming to terms with life’s situation after a break-up, followed by the realisation that moving forward is the only way to go.

You release resistance, give into the wind until the rain comes pourin’ in. You sit in the rubble until it feels like home. That’s how you learn to live alone.
How You Learn To Live Alone

We are told here that the singer is broken emotionally and knows re-building is the only way left to go.

‘Another Train’ ends the record with a hint of positivity.

I’m moving on through the pain.
Another Train – Mary Gauthier

We’ve been through the darkness and now heading forward again this tells us and points towards Mary’s ongoing journey through life.

As with all of Mary’s records there’s an amazing depth and honesty to this one. ‘Trouble and Love’ is biographical in its subject matter and Mary’s talent for taking raw pain and its associated emotions and fashioning it into beautiful melancholy shows here in abundance. Hurt and raw emotion coupled with wonderful lyrics and exemplary musicianship must surely make this strong contender for the Americana / Country Album of 2015.

Mary Gauthier plays the following Irish dates in May with support from Ben Glover.

10th May The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Belfast, Northern Ireland
11th May The Flowerfiels Arts Centre Portstewart, Northern Ireland
13th May Coughlan’s Live Cork, Ireland
14th May Button Factory Dublin, Ireland
15th May Regional Cultural Centre Letterkeny, Ireland