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Holding A Light To The Dark

January 31, 2008

There's a cinema verite quality to the stark portraits Mary Gauthier creates in her haunting songs of lives coming together or apart. The Louisiana-born singer-songwriter comes down squarely in the John Prine tradition, with Travis-picked guitar backing for these plain-sung and sometimes spoken narratives. Her latest album, "Between Daylight and Dark," is even more haunting than her 2005 breakthrough, "Mercy Now," thanks in part to darkly atmospheric production by the ever-busy Joe Henry. In concert, however, she balances the gravity of so many of her songs with deadpan humorous stories of how various songs came to be. With Mark Olson, formerly of the Jayhawks. 8 tonight, Troubadour. $20. (310) 276-6168; www.troubadour.com

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