Saturday, October 07, 2006

My friend, Martha Ann

Sometimes people come into your life when you least expect it.

Susan and I were at a Mary Gauthier concert in Chattanooga, last year, and one reason that we went was because it was a free concert!!! Many, maybe even you, have not heard of Mary Gauthier.

Do yourself a favor and click on her link, within this blog.

Anyway, it was one of those free concerts, so that opened the door to families coming out to enjoy the music.

What is so ironic is that Mary Gauthier's music is very dark. It's not "Shiny Happy People," by any means. It's about alcoholism, death, prison, lost love, etc. Yeah, it's not Mary Gauthier and "Up with People" by any means.

She's been called the female Johnny Cash and that's a good comparison.

So, we were surrounded by these oh-so-cute-darlings running around, screaming, twirling like it was a Grateful Dead concert, and we had a whole family of them behind us.

It's really irritating when you go to see a singer/songwriter, and you actually want to listen to the words but you can't, because people are talking through the whole performance.

Let me just say it was bizarre to see these little 8-year-old girls dancing to Mary singing, "I Drink."

The rest of the story is interesting, but it would take up too much space here. So, check out my post on the Yahoo Mary Gauthier group, for the original story.

If you don't want to join the group, I'll just tell you that I thought my partner and I were going to duke it out with this "mommy" and her "sprogs" behind us.

Anyway, after the show, we stood in line to make fools out of ourselves in front of Mary, and I overheard a boy behind us, who was young, but he was so well behaved and really seemed very funny. I could tell immediately he was one of those kids who is born an "old soul" and can interact with adults very well, but still be a kid.

I turned around and laughed at something that he said, and his mother smiled and we all began to talk. We complimented her son, and briefly told her what had happened during the concert and she was amazed as well.

She told us that she was a singer/songwriter and she used to live in Atlanta. We so enjoyed chatting with her. She was great.

That's the end of it, I thought. But when I joined the Mary Gauthier Yahoo group, and I told the story about what happened, she responded and said she was the lady standing behind us at the concert!!

I told her to email and the rest is history.

We have communicated via email, phone, and she's become a really cool friend. She and her husband are fantastic people, and she is a really good songwriter. When I first put her demo cd into my player, I looked at Susan and said, "God, I hope this doesn't suck, because I don't want to have to lie to her and say it's good, if it isn't. I like her too much."

Let me tell you, it did not suck at all. Not every song was strong, but overall, I thought she had real talent, period.

Since that time, she's honed her craft even more, and I am really enjoying her music as much as her friendship.

As a woman, I admire her even more for continuing to plug away when most women her age would have given up on that dream to sing and tell stories. She inspires me more than she knows, since I struggle a lot with being 40 and still not hitting my stride in life.

I am so proud of her, though, because her song, "When Your Soldier Comes Back Home," has been voted number one, consecutively, on Neil Young's Web site. She's outshone such established giants like Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, in popularity on his site.

Last week, Neil's producer contacted her and asked her to write the story behind her song. That is amazing to me.

Read it here:

She is one of the coolest women I've met in a long time, and it turns out that when I was a senior in high school, she was singing in nightclubs right down the street from me!! My friends and I used to sneak in--using fake IDs and charming the doormen--to both of the places where she used to sing.

How's that for serendipity, or Six Degrees of Separation? I bet I saw her and didn't even realize that years later we would meet and become friends.

She's about to enter the song contest! As soon as she does, I will give the link so you can vote for her song!!!

Here's to you, Martha Ann, or MAB as I call her!!!

1 comment:

BabyBlogger said...

What a cool story...go, Martha Ann!