January 25, 2018
On a mission to help U.S. veterans heal by telling their stories, American folk and country artist Mary Gauthier (say “Go-shay, y’all!”) has created her tenth album titled Rifles and Rosary Beads. This record will release tomorrow and has a very different message from the Louisiana native’s previous albums which are confessional and personal. In Rifles and Rosary Beads, each song is co-written with the veterans and their families and tells untold stories of war, of returning home, and of struggle. They each detail a soldier’s dedication to duty, the horrors of war, and how they can surface at home. In particular, the song “Iraq” depicts one female military mechanic’s struggles with being sexually harassed in Iraq.
The songs are emotional and honest and were written as part of the Songwriting With Soldiers nonprofit organization. Some participants in this program have said that writing these songs has changed their lives. Gauthier feels that her duty as a songwriter is to “find that thing the soul needs to say” -- expressing that songwriting has saved her life and can save others too.
Every day approximately 22 veterans die from suicide. In Rifles and Rosary Beads, Gauthier not only brings awareness to this issue, but also gives a voice to the voiceless. The record can be found online and in stores tomorrow.