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The Foundling

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All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Singer and songwriter Mary Gauthier's recordings have always been peopled with the restless and lost, some terminally, others temporally. Her protagonists ask lots of questions. Some of them are nakedly transparent mirror images of herself or thinly disguised representations. She's conscious of it, because in her songs the only things that matter are the questions. She strips everything unnecessary in order to ask them unflinchingly. On The Foundling, she asks the biggest questions of all: "Who am I?," "Where do I come from?," and "What do I do when I find out?" Gauthier was surrendered shortly after her birth to an orphanage, where she remained for a year before being ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Singer and songwriter Mary Gauthier's recordings have always been peopled with the restless and lost, some terminally, others temporally. Her protagonists ask lots of questions. Some of them are nakedly transparent mirror images of herself or thinly disguised representations. She's conscious of it, because in her songs the only things that matter are the questions. She strips everything unnecessary in order to ask them unflinchingly. On The Foundling, she asks the biggest questions of all: "Who am I?," "Where do I come from?," and "What do I do when I find out?" Gauthier was surrendered shortly after her birth to an orphanage, where she remained for a year before being adopted. She ran away at age 15 and never went back. After a raucous wandering spirit's life worthy of a Townes Van Zandt tale, she found her place in the world as a songwriter. She eventually tracked her birth mother down, who, in a phone conversation, ultimately refused to meet with her. Gauthier's records have never been easy emotionally, but this one is beyond loaded. That said, it's devoid of self-pity or any other trappings that could -- and more often than not do -- make many purposely autobiographical albums musical failures. Gauthier recorded The Foundling in Canada with producer Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies; the pair used local musicians as well as Timmins' sister Margo on backing vocals. Timmins documented these songs without artifice. Backed by mostly acoustic instruments, his mix is natural and intimate. Gauthier uses folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, and her trademark gothic Americana to detail her story from the beginning, where an insatiable hole was dug to a conclusion where acceptance became the rite of redemption. The road is precarious; some of Gauthier's lines are scathing in their poetic observations and revelations. She co-wrote some of the album's best songs: "March 11, 1962" and "Sideshow" with Liz Rose, "Another Day Borrowed" with Darrell Scott, and "Blood Is Blood" with Crit Harmon, though others are superior to even these. One has to wonder if these collaborations were to keep her balance and focus on such a risky tightrope. Whatever the strategy, it works magnificently. There is no album in her catalog like The Foundling; it's a terrible beauty whose jewels gleam darkly, endlessly. Its songs hold truth for anyone who has either shared this experience or merely has the willingness to ask difficult questions with an open heart.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/2010
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018309929
  • Catalog Number: 83099

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Foundling (3:39)
  2. 2 Mama Here, Mama Gone (4:02)
  3. 3 Goodbye (4:15)
  4. 4 Sideshow (4:17)
  5. 5 Interlude 1 (0:27)
  6. 6 Blood Is Blood (5:17)
  7. 7 March 11, 1962 (5:47)
  8. 8 Walk in the Water (4:51)
  9. 9 Interlude 2 (0:46)
  10. 10 Sweet Words (4:18)
  11. 11 The Orphan King (4:47)
  12. 12 Another Day Borrowed (3:33)
  13. 13 Coda (0:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mary Gauthier Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Jaro Czerwinec Accordion
Garth Hudson Piano, Accordion, Keyboards
Margo Timmins Background Vocals
Michael Timmins Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar
Danny Ellis Trombone
Jessie O'Brien Organ, Wurlitzer
Tania Elizabeth Fiddle
Ed Romanoff Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Josh Finlayson Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Hi String
Ray Ferrugia Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Darrell Scott Composer
Michael Timmins Producer, Engineer
Gail Marowitz Art Direction
Ed Romanoff Composer
Mary Gauthier Composer
Crit Harmon Composer
Peter J. Moore Mastering
Liz Rose Composer
Gregory Armstrong Poetry
Lilli Carré Illustrations
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ANOTHER MUSICAL GEM!

    "The Foundling" is another gem of a CD from Mary Gauthier. She decided to write an album that told a narrative, in this case, her own story of being abandoned at birth and her search 40 years later for her birth mother. Ms. Gauthier said that she was inspired by a Willie Nelson album, where he, too, presented a unified theme across the songs. The songs are very personal and poignant, especially the rejection Ms. Gauthier experienced when she finally located and found the courage to call her birth mother ("you say I'm a secret--nobody knows--and you can't talk about it now, and you really gotta go"). This is a lovely album, and it is highly recommended for those of you who like folk singers who write intimate songs that are rich and meaningful. Ms. Gauthier has her own very individualistic style of composing songs, and each of her albums just gets better and better.

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