The Grammy nominated folk singer and songwriter explores her life as a musical artist, the nature of creativity and the redemptive power of song. Part memoir, part philosophy of art, part nuts and bolts of songwriting, her book speaks to the reader's inner artist.
Gauthier has braided a confessional memoir of recovery and redemption around a short course in creative writing. It’s an unusual but powerful combination. Her recurring message is that without digging down to the truth of one’s emotional traumas, real art will always remain elusive ... This is not hit-factory wisdom about creating insincere hooks and bubbly pop anthems. Hers is songwriting guidance for those who understand that personal truths revealed in simply stated words can spark like synapses that connect a singer to a listener’s heart ... Her account of reaching into one veteran’s heart and teasing out the story he had no intention of voicing is triumphant.
Starting with the song’s lyrics, Gauthier recounts her personal connection to the song through concrete, accessible personal narrative. By the end of each chapter, readers have gained a behind-the-scenes scoop on the real-life experiences that influenced the song and a wise takeaway for their own lives ... Alongside these gems from her lifelong study of creative practice—think Anne Lamott meets Julia Cameron meets Patti Smith—Gauthier also shares all the gory details of her recovery from addiction, plus quotations from the artists and writers who influenced her own development ... Anyone who can still write from the heart about writing from the heart after being in the music business as long as Gauthier has is the real deal. Her book invites seasoned artists to deeper authenticity, new artists to deeper craft and all readers to deeper self-reflection.
... [an] intimate, riveting memoir ... Accounts of her struggles with addiction, her violent home life, and the realization that she was a lesbian are cleverly interwoven with a series of flashbacks to her teenage years. Gauthier writes with a light, ironic touch, and sprinkles quotes from a variety of esteemed folk and pop/rock musicians throughout, to good effect ... This emotional narrative will leave readers spent, but rooting for Gauthier to prevail. Her lyrics dig deeply into the human condition, and her explanations leave little room for complacency.