Friday, July 30 (I know I’m going back a couple of weeks, but so much has been happening!), offered yet another great day for music downtown. Mary Gauthier was in town for a joint show with Robinella at the Square Room. Tickets, with all the little charges, were around $40 or $50 per person, but that included a delicious four-course meal prepared by Cafe Four. Not a bad deal at all and in the intimate confines of the accoustically superior Square Room, really a remarkable evening. Still, at that price, not everyone would be able to attend.
That’s where Knoxville, Tony Lawson, WDVX and the whole musical community here reveal their true beauty: Introduced by Tony, Mary did a sample of the songs at the Blue Plate special broadcast from the Square Room at noon, and it was entirely free.
The pictures included here are from that show, though I attended both. Mary’s slightly ragged, dry and southern delivery of some of the most poignant lines being written effortlessly moves audiences. It is stunning to realize this enormously talented woman did not write a song until she was thirty-five years old. One of the absolutely best songs ever written – and I don’t say that lightly, I’ve loved and studied music for many years – is her tender homage to the woundedness in us all, Mercy Now. Follow that link and you can hear a clip, but don’t stop there, buy it or buy the entire CD. I’ve worn the song out and it can still bring me to tears. It has to be on your ipod. I mean it. Have you clicked, yet? Promise to get it from itunes, later? OK.
She was in excellent form at both shows and accompanist, Tania Elizabeth, formerly of the Duhks was fantastic in support. The always lovable Robinella finished the evening with her amazing vocal stylings and ever charming stories. A great night (or lunchtime) to be in Knoxville.