Mary Gauthier is a folk singer/songwriter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Born to a mother she never knew, Gauthier was left at St. Vincent's Women and Infants Asylum and was eventually adopted when she was a year old by an Italian Catholic couple. At the age of 15, Gauthier ran away and spent the next few years as a dug addict, staying in halfway houses and friends' house. Gauthier went on to serve her 18th birthday in a jail cell. After turning her life around, attending the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and opening her own Cajun restaurant in Boston, Gauthier began to develop a strong interest in music. Developing a characteristic alternative country sound with strong Southern folk leanings, Gauthier released her debut album, Dixie Kitchen, in 1997 to favorable reviews.