Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Heart Like a Wheel

Kate and Anna McGarrigle are sisters from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, who in 1975 formed a folk duo and went on to write and record some of the best contemporary folk music of the last 30 years. The musical McGarrigle family grew as Kate married folk singer, Loudon Wainwright and bore him musical children, singers Martha and Rufus Wainwright.

The McGarrigles appeared on the music scene in 1976 with the release of their classic debut album, “Kate and Anna McGarrigle,” a superb collection of songs ranging from folk and blues to gospel all sung with the McGarrigle sisters’ trademark tight harmonies. The album’s highlights are the songs “Mendocino” and “Heart like a Wheel,” with the latter tune becoming a hit for Linda Ronstadt. The song, “Go Leave” is for Kate’s husband Loudon Wainwright, with whom she had a famously difficult marriage.

The McGarrigle’s follow-up release, “Dancer with Bruised Knees” (1977), was another fine effort that like the debut album, included several songs sung in French.

The McGarrigles have continued to record fine albums, and the best of their more recent offerings are “French Record” (1981), “Love Over and Over” (1982), “Heartbeats Accelerating” (1990), and “Matapedia” (1996).
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