Mary Gauthier hasn’t played Philly in years, but it’s always worth it to seek her out wherever she is: Wilmington, Nashville, and, on this night, Washington, D.C.
Joined by opener Jaimee Harris, Gauthier started with “I Drink”—an apt song for two performers who’ve been candid about their hard-won sobriety to play at a winery.
The heart of the show was a selection of songs from Rifles & Rosary Beads, one of my top albums of 2018, and Gauthier vividly brought to life the stories of her collaborators—veterans and their wives—on “Soldiering On,” “The War After The War” and “Bullet Holes In The Sky,” among others.
Later in the set, “Mercy Now” bore the weight necessary to carry the emotions of a D.C. crowd holding its breath for the full Mueller report to come out, and if a sing-along of “This Land Is Your Land” didn’t quite pop the tension, well, nothing really could have.
One bit of good news: In expressing her gratitude to City Winery, Gauthier mentioned that the in-the-works Philly location will finally bring her back to MAGNET’s hometown.
—M.J. Fine; photos by Chris SIkich