Five Artists Who Inspire Mary Gauthier

As part of Folk Alley’s Pride Month feature, we’ve asked a handful of LGBTQ+ artists to make a list of the songs or artists who most influenced them. This first list was written by Mary Gauthier, whose new album, Dark Enough to See the Stars, is out June 3 on Rough Trade Records.

Artist-written lists will be running throughout June, alongside the Pride-themed playlist in the Classic Folk stream.

Mary Gauthier says: “My list is all women because men are already, let’s say, well represented in lists like this.”

Lucinda Williams – “Changed the Locks”

Constantly evolving, always taking risks, genre defying, genius. Lu’s music has been a constant for me for over thirty- five years.

Nanci Griffith – “More Than a Whisper”

She called her music “Folk-abilly.” I found her first record on Phylo in 1986, and I followed her whole career. Bought every record she ever made. Brilliant songwriter, incredible singer. She married folk music with country music and spoke to my soul.

Patti Smith – “Horses” 

The “punk poet laureate” who kicked down walls, broke all the rules, and stole my heart at a tender age. I loved her then, I love her now. A genuine bad ass.

Julie Miller – “I Still Cry”

Julie Miller’s songs are defined by empathy, forged in love and pain. She writes with an eagle eye for the broken hearted, the wounded, the lost souls. She is an earth angel and her music is timeless.

Ricki Lee Jones – “We Belong Together”

Ricki Lee’s music is defined by taking chances, she uses her talent to transform personal demons into songs with soaring melodies and searing lyrics. She possesses an astute musical vision that continues to evolve. She once told me, “Our songs would not be made of much if we did not have something to heal.” I said amen, sister. Amen.

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