Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier releases her most important work to date. Co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, the 11 deeply personal songs reveal the untold stories, and powerful struggles that these veterans and their spouses deal with abroad and after returning home. Each year it's estimated that over 7400 current and former members of the U.S. Armed Services take their own lives. The songs featured on Rifles & Rosary Beads were all co-written as part of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a non-profit program that facilitates retreats bringing professional songwriters together with wounded veterans and active duty military. Participants have shared that the experience of songwriting was life changing for them, some even said life saving.
No stranger to pain or demons herself, Gauthier has used songwriting to work through addiction and childhood abandonment as an orphan. This is the first album where she has focused solely on experiences other than her own. The songs on Rifles & Rosary Beads tackle a variety of viewpoints. "The War After The War" deals with the strain put on a relationship while living with someone who has returned from serving, while "Iraq" depicts the helpless horror of a female military mechanic being dehumanized and sexually harassed. The gorgeous album highlight "Bullet Holes In the Sky" is a bittersweet reflection on the mixed emotions of being a veteran.