"…[Mary Gauthier’s] Rifles and Rosary Beads, is not only one of the most arresting American singer-songwriter records in recent years, but one of the most vital pieces of art to come out of those two wars.” —Rolling Stone Country
8:00 PM—The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Mary Gauthier to the South on Main stage! This is the fourth and final show of their Americana Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Stella Boyle Smith Trust, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Additional season partners include Chris & Jo Harkins, J. Mark & Christy Davis, Cypress Properties, Inc., UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Margaret Ferguson Pope—Thank You Aunt Margaret!, EVO Business Environments, Jay Barth & Chuck Cliett, Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock.
4-Show Americana packages are available beginning May 13 via Metrotix.com or by calling (800) 293-5949. Single tickets go on sale May 20 and are $30 (General Admission), $38 (Reserved), and $40 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart). Full season ticket pricing and options are also available in a consolidated format, here.
On Mary Gauthier's tenth album, Rifles and Rosary Beads, all eleven songs are co-written with and for wounded veterans as part of Darden Smith's five-year-old Songwriting with Soldiers program.
This work has become a calling. “My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say,” Mary says. “Each retreat brings together a dozen or so soldiers and four songwriters, three songs each in two days. We don't have a choice. We have to stay focused, listen carefully, and make sure every veteran gets their own song. And we always do.”
Each song on Rifles and Rosary Beads is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex, and each song tells the story of a deeply wounded veteran.
None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, a significant statistic. Something about writing that song—telling that story—is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.
“Because the results are so dramatic, this could work for other traumas,” Mary says. “Trauma is the epidemic. You say opioid, I say trauma epidemic. As an addict, I know addiction is self- medication because of suffering, and beneath that pain is always trauma. We've found something powerful here, that brings hope to people who are hurting. So they know they are not alone.”