Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vale Kate McGarrigle

Kate & Anna McGarrigle live at the National Theatre – Feb 2005

It was saddening to hear today of the death of Canadian singer songwriter Kate McGarrigle. She and her sister Anna created beautiful music singing their wonderful, sometimes quirky songs, with exquisite harmonies. She was the mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, who are very talented musicians as well.

I discovered Kate & Anna’s music back in the 1970s with the release of their self titled record and have continued to follow their careers over the years. They made 10 records in all and provided harmony vocals on other artists’ discs, Emmylou Harris for one, Alison Krauss for another.

I had the great pleasure of seeing them perform live in February 2005 at the National Theatre in St Kilda. It was also my first taste of Rufus and Martha. I still remember the impression the first song of that evening created – it was absolutely gorgeous, harmonies of unearthly beauty that sent shivers down the spine.

Kate died on 18 January 2010 surrounded by her family and music. What a lovely way to go!

The photo above was taken by a friend at the National Theatre concert.

If you’re not familiar with the McGarrigle Sisters, check out this You Tube of them singing their famous song “Heart Like A Wheel”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happened to my well-crafted comment but thought I went through all the motions it just clagged. How devastating. I hadn't heard. Like you I discovered them in the 70s and bought their first 3 albums (I think it was their first three) and then translated two of those into CDs. I also have their more recent lovely McGarrigle hour CD.

Heart like a wheel is a great song - one of those that stays in your head - will our hearts ever be mended?