#136: Mary Gauthier – Love, Trouble, and Indie Success

IMary Gauthiern this episode of the DIY Musician Podcast, Kevin interviews Americana Troubadour, Singer, and Songwriter Mary Gauthier. Mary is currently on a world tour to promote her new album, Trouble & Love. Mary is a shinning example of an how an independent artist can wrangle the music industry, find success, and stay independent. Mary shares her thoughts on the changing music industry, on building a team, connecting with fans, and creating and selling a record. Don’t miss this episode!

Check out Mary’s new album and tour dates on her website!

  • PhilipClark

    What a great episode! Some great ideas and tips, and I totally love that Mary had such a great handle on her identity and story. I was so excited to hear her stuff that it absolutely bummed me out that you guys didn’t play a song of hers at the end of the show. Seemed like a severely missed opportunity. Regardless, I checked out Mary’s great music on Spotify, so she got my $.0002. The inverted pyramid concept of the song being key is a great takeaway from this episode.

  • Excellent podcast episode, Kevin and Mary. Great insights for musicians at any level regarding building a team. Loved the point she made with her statement from her guest blog post that you highlighted: “The object of art is not to make salable products. It is to save one’s self, and to be a part of saving us all. Either we tell our story, or our story tells us.”

  • kbreuner

    I loved that quote as well!

  • Totally agree about the inverted pyramid.

  • CD Baby podcasts are always helpful and interesting but this is the most inspiring one I’ve heard. Kevin called her authentic and she certainly is. I felt like I could hear the experience and patience in her voice.

    Her final words are so basic and yet essential – put the songs first. We are never too far along to need that reminder.

    But it’s also important for those just starting out. I used to work for Austin Music Foundation where I often met musicians who had acquired a lot of knowledge about running a band business but had no business to actually run. It seemed backwards.

    I guess people do work the business side to get to the fans (instead of the other way) with success but it was nice to hear Mary talk about doing it the way I’d prefer – by making something real and true and connecting with others who believe.

    I also liked the part about how anyone can make a perfect sounding record these days.

    thanks for the inspiration, Mary and Kevin!

  • kbreuner

    Glad you enjoyed the episode!

  • Robert Lee King

    Listening to the podcast, I am struck with something I’ve been a proponent of for decades. It has never been about commerce. And never should be if you’re an artist. Now Artist is a loose term that many bandy about but, in its truest form, artist is a creator. Creators do one thing and one thing only, they make what never was. This is the great failing of those who think in terms of commerce. Yes, it’s great to profit from your creations but, in the end, is it really worth the time if profit is the main purpose? Personally, many call my humble efforts crap and worse. Can’t sing, can’t play, can’t write. But, the truth is, for every one of those people, there is another who is touched in some way by those no talent crappy songs… That, above all else, is what being an artist is about. Music touches people, good or bad, not because it is particularly well performed “New York Dolls”, but because it touches something deeper. The listener must feel, or the artist has failed.

  • Ron Huneycutt

    One of the great ideas that she mentioned is something that I’ve been thinking about myself. The idea that albums need to be more than a collection of songs these days. There needs to be a concept or a theme. It reminds me of Paul Simon’s “Graceland”. Instead of getting African musicians to play on his songs, the idea or concept was to go to Africa and play with African musicians and allow the songs to happen through that experience. He let the idea for the album guide him to write the songs.

  • Carolyna Lovely

    May’s lovely and talented and this was a great podcast. Thanks

  • gillwire

    Great interview, I liked the discussion of going back to raw studio techniques, a recent goal I have is to use as few features as possible available in the modern digital recording toolbox. The other highlight was that the album should ideally have it’s own interesting story. I had to do a separate search to find the article referenced though, http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/musician-tips/letter-young-songwriter-mary-gauthier/ maybe a link is on the page somewhere but I missed it. Definitely a cautionary tale, some will say harsh but hey – she’s all about truth