Friday Jo and I had the chance to see one of our favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier, at the Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead (blurry iPhone foto above). The Me & Thee has been holding shows in the Unitarian Universalist Church on Mugford Street for 41 years, and is really a wonderful venue for seeing an intimate musical performance.
Gauthier’s touring currently accompanied by Tania Elizabeth, an acadian 5-string violinist and supporting vocalist. The two really play well together, with Elizabeth weaving interesting texture into the wide spaces Gauthier’s sparse playing provides. Elizabeth also guested on Gauthier’s most recent album the Foundling.
Elizabeth also played a rhythm instrument called Goat Toenails, which I assume is actually made from goat’s hooves – not an instrument I’d like to encourage as a vegan. Intriguingly, it seems she was vegan and a raw foodist back in 2006 and perhaps still is – certainly she’s interested in sustainability and health. Maybe they were faux goat toenails?
You can hear a few selected songs from the pair in their recent appearance on Mountain Stage:
They did a pretty robust set of Gauthier standards, including: I Drink, Mercy Now, Drag Queens In Limousines, The Camelot Motel, and Last of the Hobo Kings, as well as a haunting gothic rendition (with Elizabeth’s fiddle in full on distortion mode) of Snakebit and a rousing version of Sugar Cane.
The opener was Jason Myles Goss, whom I’ll confess to not having heard of before the show. He did a short set – I think it was only 5 or 6 songs – but an impressive one. He introduced this song by saying when he moved to Brooklyn he lived above / near a little spot that was a coffee shop in the morning and a wine bar in the evening. Here’s a video of the tune from a record launch party in NY last year:
I picked up A Plea For Dreamland, his latest, and recommend you go check it out.