Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Broken Wheel

Oh, man. Kate McGarrigle's gone. Cancer, it was, at sixty-three.

She wasn't as well-known outside folky circles as she ought to have been. Her children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, are more famous now. Different styles... Of all that extremely musical extended clan, I love best the works of Kate and her sister Anna. Canadian singer-songwriting duo: bilingual, witty and unpretentious, feather-light and razor-sharp with tunes and words together. Gods! How many of my favourite songs are theirs? I'm not sure there's anyone but the late Kate Wolf who scores higher. Heart Like a Wheel; Leave Me Be; Song for Gaby; Talk to Me of Mendocino; Kiss and Say Goodbye; Complainte pour Sainte-Catherine; and, so help me, Why Must We Die...

If you're not familiar with their work and it sounds remotely like your kind of thing, go straight to Kate & Anna McGarrigle and check it out. Liking Emmylou Harris is probably as good an indicator as any. Hell, go there anyway! There is lots of good stuff there, and all from the horse's mouth.

An excellent place to sample the massed talent of the McGarrigle/Wainwright circle is the warm and wonderfully varied The McGarrigle Hour. Recommended to the skies.

Here is a link to the fund she established against the stinking crab that killed her.

Another one the Gods loved, and all that.

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