Kate McGarrigle Tribute

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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by bridger15 »

http://www.tabletmag.com/arts-and-cultu ... sung-hero/
Article about Chaim Tannenbaum who played in the tribute concert.
Unsung Hero

For more than 40 years, folk music’s first family, the Wainwright-McGarrigle clan, has enjoyed the quiet support of musician—and philosophy professor—Chaim Tannenbaum

By Harold Heft | May 12, 2011
chaim and rufus.jpg
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It’s a running gag at performances of the Wainwright-McGarrigle clan, recently called the “dysfunctional first family of folk-pop.” Patriarch Loudon Wainwright III will introduce his longtime collaborator Chaim Tannenbaum as “the Jew who is going to sing a gospel song.” At a family Christmas concert, son Rufus Wainwright announces “an exciting song from our friend Chaim who’s going to do ‘Blue Christmas.’ It’s a joke!” Matriarch Kate McGarrigle featured Tannenbaum singing the impassioned line “I’m bound for Calvary” on the song “Dig My Grave.”

Tannenbaum is happy to play along: “From the house in which I grew up, we could walk to three kosher bakeries, three synagogues, four Jewish day schools,” he’s said before launching into “Blue Christmas.” “What I’m trying to tell you is that Christmas didn’t really mean a great deal to us. But we did have Elvis Presley’s Christmas records.”

The story of folk legends Loudon Wainwright, his ex-wife Kate McGarrigle (who died in January 2010) of the McGarrigle Sisters, and their children Rufus and Martha Wainwright has always revolved around extended family, and Tannenbaum has been a constant presence in their life and work. His credits on their albums and live shows include songwriting, lead and backing vocals, banjo, harmonica, guitar, mandolin, recorder, and saxophone; he was also a co-producer of Therapy, arguably Loudon’s best album. According to Loudon, Tannenbaum is “all over” his box set, 40 Odd Years, which was released on May 3. Tannenbaum’s influence is no less pronounced on the McGarrigle Sisters’ three-disc compellation Tell My Sister, which was released on the same day. And, together with Emmylou Harris, Nora Jones, and others, he’s to be a key player in Rufus and Martha’s musical tribute to their mother at New York’s Town Hall tonight and tomorrow.

Despite Tannenbaum’s ubiquity in the 40-plus year saga of the lives and music of Loudon, Kate, and their children, there is very little information available on him, other than a few grainy concert clips on YouTube and a Facebook page put together by adoring former students from Dawson College in Montreal, where he taught philosophy for many years before his recent retirement. Asked if there is any relationship between his life as a philosophy professor and a musician, he responds that there is no link whatsoever: “I may as well be two unrelated people,” he says. Outside his work with the family, Tannenbaum’s musical legacy is virtually nonexistent.

He is painfully reluctant to give himself props for any of the family’s accomplishments. Asked about his collaborations with Loudon, Tannenbaum seizes on a hockey metaphor: “The Montreal Canadiens had a line consisting of Hall-of-Fame centre Jean Beliveau, Hall-of-Fame right winger Bernard Geoffrion, and perfectly ordinary left-winger Bert Olmstead. Lucky Bert Olmstead, he had the easiest job in hockey. Loudon had me and David Mansfield play with him. In that trio, I think of myself as Bert Olmstead.”

But his “Beliveau” and “Geoffrion” beg to differ. Loudon calls Tannenbaum “my unsung hero.” And Mansfield—a veteran of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and a founding member of Bruce Hornsby and the Range—is even more emphatic: “Anyone who doesn’t consider Chaim a living legend hasn’t been around folk music long enough,” he says. “Somehow I can’t even imagine Loudon’s career without Chaim’s high keening tenor a third or a sixth above. I can’t think of a single musician who has contributed more to [Loudon’s] work.” Mansfield goes on to explain that “to think of Chaim as anything less than family with Kate and Anna would be a mistake.”

The story of how Tannenbaum connected with Loudon and Kate is as entertaining as the collaborations that followed. In the 1960s, Tannenbaum and Kate met as high-school students in Montreal and became members of a local folk band called the Mountain City Four. Tannenbaum eventually moved to the U.K. for graduate school, and Kate moved to New York, where she met and married Loudon. “In 1970, I got a telegram that read ‘Arriving from Copenhagen, Tuesday, Kate,’ ” says Tannenbaum. “When the doorbell rang on Tuesday, it was, unmistakably, Kate McGarrigle behind it, bags in hand, with a tale of marital distress and abandonment to go with. … A week, maybe two weeks, passed in a state of tearful domestic tranquility. Then Loudon showed up at the door saying, ‘I’m looking for my wife.’ Thus, improbably, the friendship was launched.” According to Loudon, they soon began busking on the Portobello Road.

Since that fateful meeting, Tannenbaum’s musical friendship with the family has become the bridge for many apparent incongruities. In his different identities, he’s a Canadian Jew known for playing southern gospel and Christmas songs; he’s a bluegrass banjo player named Chaim (as opposed to “Slim” or “Tugboat”); he’s an obscure philosophy professor who has quietly become a folk legend; he’s nearly invisible to the public yet deeply revered by the famous people who work with him.

Even his songwriting achievements seem accidental. His composition “Time on My Hands,” which he sings on the album The McGarrigle Hour, would never have surfaced had Kate not found it “on a cassette Loudon was carrying around.” And Joe Boyd, producer of the McGarrigles’ Tell My Sister compilation, recently told Tannenbaum: “I bet you haven’t heard this song ‘Annie.’ I’d never heard it. It’s great.” Tannenbaum responded that he wrote the song.

For Tannenbaum, all the contradictions of his life seem smooth sailing. He talks about singing a gospel song in Nashville last year at a concert supporting the release of the Grammy-winning album High Wide & Handsome, Loudon’s record about bluegrass pioneer Charlie Poole. Tannenbaum says that after the show, a local woman of about 75 years old came up to him and said, “You know I never expected in my lifetime I would hear a Jew sing the Gospel like you did.” Tannenbaum explains that there wasn’t a tincture of anti-Semitism in her declaration. It was a matter of wonder: How could she have expected that the simple religious music of her isolated Tennessee childhood would be lovingly sung by a Jew of all people, from another part of the world? “I wonder, too,” he says.

Music is the portal through which Tannenbaum has traveled across time, space, and different identities: “I loved it when Chaim and Kate were paired on harmonica and accordion during my French songs, ‘Complainte pour Ste. Catherine’ and ‘Mais quand tu danses,’ ” says Anna McGarrigle, “as if we’d momentarily touched down in some bar in rural Quebec, or when he’d lean in on mandolin along with the guitars, we all got airborne again. When he led us on ‘Dig My Grave’ we became fearless in the face of death.”

“In music,” she continues, “it’s important to be transported.”

Harold Heft has taught literature and film at the University of Western Ontario and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His last article for Tablet Magazine was about Citizen Kane

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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by bridger15 »

Concert report update from the RW forum
Your reporter here, ready to report again.
As I always say : First things first:
Viva Katherine was not there.
Arcangelo was not there.
But Jörn was there AND ON THE STAGE (for the finale).

How to begin...

There was some febrility on the street that night. Many people waiting outside the venue. Waiting for a dream.

Some boardies made some new friends very very happy. It was Kate's touch.

Maybe because it was no filming, maybe because it was the second night, maybe because they proved to themselves they could do it, the atmosphere was more relax,

For the first song, when everybody was searching for Anna's accordeon - we could fill we were at a McGarrigle's traditional show :

With introductions from guest to guest, with smiles and kisses, they all looked happy to be together... again. The first night was a time to pay tribute with sadness and respect, the second night was more joyful even if Kate's songs are mostly sad.

We come a long way since we last shook hands...

Often, we anticipated our pleasure . We remembered : Oh yes, Rufus will sing now Southern Boys, Oh now it will be Rufus and Antony, now it's time for Antony and Go Leave, oh yes, now it will be Norah with Rufus and Martha singing Mendocino, and now it's time for the Jewish friend to sing a gospel and oh.. oh... now it's the time that we heard Kate's voice again, rehearsing Proserpina - our hearts will not be broken this time, we are prepared.But a solo tear can drop, isn't it ?

Pause. Drink. Sheers. Kisses and sighs.Too many persons in the tiny lobby. Excited.

The second part can begin.

Again, touching songs, duets, solos.Smiles, thanks and kisses.

The producer came to thanks everybody by their names. Rufus at last. Emphasizing on all the time and efforts Rufus put in the event to raise money, to put friends together . Rufus can sing now, alone at the piano, The Walking Song.

This song like this walk I find out to end

More songs. More memories.

Everybody on the stage now. It's time for the happy Finale.

Love over and Over.

The song is singing by all the guests. Martha is asking discretely Rufus to thanks everybody in the assistance for their support , he also thanks Kate, with a tremolo. Concentrated on his speech, he discovers with a happy surprise that Jörn is behind him, singing along, a little bit shy. Spontaneously, Rufus kisses him twice, takes Jörn's hands, put them around his waist and pull him near him and Martha. Kisses again.

They say goodbye now. Singing the gay refrain : Love over and over.

What a nice ending of a fabulous night.sighs.

Thanks Kate.
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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by bridger15 »

Photos from the May 12 Tribute concert are available on the Getty Images website.

http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Searc ... ertainment#
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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by dick »

Many thanks for the updates Arlene. Great shows, but we sure missed you!

Both nights were fabulous -- Linda and Esther and I were happy to have not missed a moment. Lorraine and Rachel and Bob made it Friday.

The postive reviews are right on target. Very moving, so much talent, such great music. The Rufus forum group was very welcoming and accepting -- since we are all family now. :)

I have enjoyed prior teamwork between Rufus and Martha and Teddy, Jenni, Emmy Lou, Justin, Jimmy Fallon and Antony. Also Anna, her Lankin family, Joel and Chaim, Sloan, Jane, and fine piano player and Brad. For me, this was the first time to add Norah Jones in the mix. As I guess everyone else knows, she is stunningly beautiful and talented. Her duets with Emmy Lou sounded like they had partnered for years. The biggest surprise for me was Krystle Warren. What a wonderful voice and stage presence. She sure made me a new fan in me! It was also a great touch that they added Michael Ondaatje to the program with a moving reading.

Hope more Cohen friends saw it than have come forward.... if not.... don't miss any repeats. Since it was a successful fund raiser, and since it had been done once before in London, I think it's possible another performance could happen somewhere.
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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by dick »

Another forum cross-posting.. this one from "Americana and Roots Music -- No Depression"
Not by our beloved Arlene though.

5-12-11 Kate McGarrigle Tribute Concert in NYC's Town Hall
Posted by Arlene on May 15, 2011 at 5:30am
View Arlene's blog
I originally posted this review for an Emmylou Harris discussion board, which is why part of it focuses on her, but I thought I'd cross-post here:

I attended Thursday's tribute to Kate McGarrigle at Town Hall in NYC. It was a remarkable concert, alternately and simultaneously bittersweet, joyous, heartbreaking, raucous and life affirming, but never sentimental. In short, it was a fitting celebration of an extraordinary woman who left us far too soon. Emmylou appeared singing onstage in many of the ensemble numbers but was featured on (1) Darlin' Kate, with Anna McGarrigle and her daughter Lily Lanken on backing vocals, (2) a duet with Teddy Thompson on I Eat Dinner, (3) a duet with Nora Jones on Fast as My Feet Will Carry Me, (4) Entre La Jeuresse et la Sagesse, in which she sang a verse in French, and (5) Heart Like A Wheel, in which she sang the first verse with other verses being taken by Anna, then Martha Wainwright, and finally, together, Lily and Krystle Warren.

The love and affection almost all of the performers seemed to share was evident though-out; for example, one tender moment I caught occurred as the five women who sang Heart Like a Wheel were leaving the stage and Martha, who was walking behind Emmylou, put her hands on Emmy's shoulders and then gave her a hug from behind, with Emmylou reaching behind to put her hand on Martha's arm and squeeze. Another took place just before the final number, Love Over and Over, when Martha came out and tenderly held her very young son, who's not even a toddler yet, as he gazed out facing the audience with eyes wide while everyone on stage and in the audience widely grinned through tears at the only grandchild Kate lived to see; many must have been thinking as I was--he's our reminder that this family will go on and Kate's music and spirit will be passed to another generation.

Some of the performers who moved me the most were artists I've never seen or heard sing before such as Krystle Warren, who was stunning performing I Don't Know, Anthony of Anthony and the Johnsons who did an astonishingly moving rendition of Go Leave, and Sloan Wainwright (Loudon's younger sister) who, when performing Blues in D, revealed a voice that was as full and expressive as anyone who appeared on stage.

Highlights, in addition to the ones I listed above, included Nora Jones singing Talk To Me of Mendocino with Rufus and Martha on harmony vocals; Teddy Thompson soloing on Saratoga Summer Song; Jenni Muldaur channeling her mother, Maria, on Come Back Baby; Martha performing Tell My Sister; Rufus, exhibiting deeply passionate yet controlled emotion on Walking Song; and the group rendition of the last song Kate ever wrote, Proserpina. However, for me, the single most memorable and bittersweet moment was when Anna described coming to New York just after Kate and Loudon broke-up, when Rufus and Martha were both very young -- she brought a devastated and resisting Kate with her children back to Montreal to be surrounded and supported by the family. Anna then explained that she hadn't sung the next song since she was in the studio to record it 35 years ago, and proceeded to sing Kitty Come Home with Rufus and Martha accompanying her-- both seeming to fight back tears.

I don't want to convey the impression that sadness and melancholy pervaded the evening-- there was Rufus playfully teasing Martha while bragging and then disclaiming that the next song, First Born Son, "was written about...well.... ME"; Chaim Tannenbaum's joyfully spirited rendition, backed by all, of Travellin' on for Jesus; Rufus's friend, performance artist and transvestite Justin V. Bonds' humorous yet impassioned delivery of The Work Song, Jimmy Fallon's terrific take on The Swimming Song, and the final group encore of Love Over and Over-- I swear at the end, with everyone dancing, it included Emmylou and Justin V. Bond doing the bump.

Anyway, it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of performance (and I can't believe it but they repeated it the next night). I wish that anyone who loves music could have been there, and that the documentary of Kate's life, for which this concert was filmed, can capture the spirit and range of emotions shared that evening.
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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by dick »

With permission, I am posting notes by Ron Gomes, long time McGarrigle fan and expert. I found the song titles and observations very helpful.

Subject: Notes on the Town Hall tribute to Kate

The tribute to Kate at Town Hall on May 12th was more than I expected in
many ways: more entertaining, more emotional, more well-rehearsed and
well-produced, and also longer (three hours). And sold out.

It was probably the "slickest" McGarrigles concert that I've ever
attended, and I mean nothing pejorative by that. Producer Joe Boyd
(Emmylou called him "our fearless leader") kept things moving briskly,
runners came on and off stage to supply instruments as needed,
performers arrived promptly on stage when expected.

But for all that there was the still the occasional McGarrigle-esque
delay, like just before "Come a Long Way", when Norah Jones, after a
pause, said "We're expecting a banjo player on stage", and a few moments
later Chaim came on stage, muttered something I didn't catch, and moved
to his position a little sheepishly.

There was so much material that they really HAD to keep it moving--and
I'm sure the overtime charges for going past 11pm (which they did, by a
few minutes) were on at least someone's minds (Joe Boyd, Rufus). Plus,
the whole show was shot/recorded for a documentary (something Rufus
worked hard to fund), so there might have been an extra motivation not
to appear sloppy.

Before the concert, during intermission, and afterward, there was a
table doing a brisk business selling stuff (new book about or by
Rufus--not sure which--and posters and copies of the new 3-CD set, a
raffle). They got a little of my money.

The song selection for this concert was very similar to that of the
London tribute last June, though the order of songs, and the performers,
were different in many cases. In the style of a theatrical billet, the
program did say "A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle was first performed at
the Meltdown Festival in June 2010 at the Royal Festival Hall in

I should mention the band up front, even though they weren't actually
introduced until the end (by Joe Boyd): Brad Albetta on bass, Thomas
Bartlett on piano, Calum MacColl on guitar, Michel Pépin on guitar,
Chaim Tannenbaum on banjo and other things, Joel Zikfin on violin, Bryan
Devendorf on percussion. A great band indeed, and I wanted to make
special mention of the pianist Thomas Bartlett who was a strong presence
throughout the whole concert--he played on many more songs than the rest
of the band--and who seemed to be in the role of musical director a lot
of the time, though the program co-credits that role to him and to Brad
and Calum. Except for a few songs where Jane or Rufus or Anna went to
the piano, Bartlett was on piano the whole evening, and even then he was
sitting next to whoever was playing.

Anyway, the concert:

1. "Kiss and Say Goodbye" with a large ensemble including Rufus, Anna,
Martha, Sloan Wainwright, Teddy Thompson, Jane, Lily, Sylvan, Dane, Greg
Prestopino, others.

2. "Southern Boys" with Rufus on lead vocal accompanied by Martha, Jenni
Muldaur, Teddy.

3. "Come Back Baby" (from "Pronto Monto", with a demo version on the new
CD set) by Jenni Muldaur with Teddy Thompson.

4. "I Eat Dinner" with Emmylou and Teddy Thompson (at the London
concert, Rufus accompanied Emmylou).

5. "Over the Hill" by Norah Jones accompanied by Lily (Norah also played
guitar). This is apparently the only song that Kate and Loudon wrote
together, and it was unfamiliar to me; though Loudon recorded it, I'm
not a Loudon completist and I'm not sure I ever heard his version.
There's also an early demo version of this song on the new CD set.

6. "The Work Song" sung by Justin Vivian Bond, with Jane on piano and
Anna on accordion.

7. "On My Way to Town": Anna with Lily and Sylvan.

8. "I Don't Know" sung by Krystle Warren, who was introduced by Anna as
an "exciting new discovery" whom they met for the first time in London
last year.

9. "Come a Long Way" sung by Norah Jones and Krystle Warren.

10. "First Born Son": Rufus and Martha with Anna, Jane, Lily, Sylvan,
Dane. Rufus introduced this by saying that he'd always believed it was
about him--and let's be real, of course it was--but that Kate had always
taken pains to impress upon him that it was also about the more general
idea of joy and family. (Whatever.)

11. "I Cried for Us" sung by Rufus with Antony (of Antony and the
Johnson). Rufus had always assumed that Kate had written the song about
her breakup with Loudon, but apparently not: it was inspired by someone
else's failed relationship.

12. "I Am a Diamond" with Martha singing and playing guitar, backed by

13. "Darlin' Kate": Emmylou's tribute song to Kate, sung by Emmylou
accompanied by Anna and Lily. Emmylou spoke of how moved she was to
have become part of the McGarrigles' circle ("I almost feel Canadian").
She also said "Every song I ever wrote with more than three chords, I
wrote with Kate and Anna. But this one I wrote on my own."

14. "Proserpina" sung by, well, everyone, a huge ensemble, with vocal
leads by Martha, Sloan, and Rufus. This may have been the most moving
performance of the night. Anna introduced it and told us that Kate had
recorded a demo of the song in Garage Band before her one public
performance of it (at Albert Hall in December 2009). Though it was a
little distorted, they played the beginning of Kate's recording to start
off and lead into the ensemble performance. It was a brilliant idea,
and also heartbreaking. (I wonder whose idea it was. I asked Joel, but
he didn't know.)

Intermission. Town Hall, when crowded, is hard to get around. No

15. "Tell My Sister" sung by Martha.

16. "As Fast As My Little Feet Can Carry Me" sung by Emmylou and Norah.
At the risk of being a frightful bore I have to indulge in a little
rant. This song of Anna's was a favorite of mine for years, I
internalized the song and its lyrics early on, and I missed it when K&A
stopped performing it in concert.

It was recorded only once, on that obscure "CBC Variety Recordings" CD,
and for some reason the familiar lyrics were changed on that version.
The REAL lyric is "...the sum of rivet and aluminium, banking in the
setting sun, shining like a silver star, when my work is done". But the
CBC recording dropped "when my work is done" (I don't know why).

When Linda Thompson performed this song at the Kate tribute in London
last year, she used the "CBC version" of the lyrics. And Emmylou did
the same thing at Town Hall. They're canonicalizing the WRONG LYRICS.

Of course I don't know anything. It's not like Anna wasn't present
during any of this, and couldn't have corrected it any time if she
wanted to. So maybe those are the lyrics as she wants them to be.

On the other hand Anna is so easygoing that I could easily see her
coming upon a rehearsal in progress, with Linda Thompson telling her,
"Look, we've worked up a version of that song of yours from that obscure
CD", and Anna thinking, fine, I won't rock the boat, let them use those

17. "Blues in D" sung by Sloan Wainwright with Jane on piano.

18. "Saratoga Summer Song" sung by Teddy Thompson. This is another of
Kate's tunes of which I have no K&A recordings (even among the many
concert recordings that I've acquired) and that I don't believe I had
ever heard before hearing Teddy's version of this from the London
tribute to Kate. But again, there's a demo version of this on the new
CD set.

19. "Swimming Song" performed by Jimmy Fallon (in a surprising comic
turn for the show) with a solo on washboard and another on spoons.

20. "Go Leave" sung by Antony. He has an idiosyncratic delivery to be
sure (with Joe Cocker-type mannerisms) but the guy has SUCH a voice.

21. "Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse": Anna and Rufus, with Emmylou,
Martha, Krystle, Lily, Sylvan, Dane, Jane on piano.

22. "Heart Like a Wheel": Emmylou and Anna, with Martha, Krystle, and
Lily (Anna also on accordion).

23. Reading from "Anil's Ghost" by Michael Ondaatje; the same piece
(including intro) that he read at the London tribute.

24. "(Talk to Me of) Mendocino" sung by Norah Jones with Martha and
Rufus backing.

25. "Travellin' on for Jesus": Chaim singing lead with most of the
company backing him (Justin Bond, Norah, Jenni, Teddy, with Dane,
Martha, Rufus, Krystle, Sylvan, Lily, Emmylou, Anna, Sloan, Greg

26. Producer Joe Boyd introduces and thanks everyone, with special
mention of how much work Rufus did to make it all happen. And he tells
us that "it's not over yet, there are still songs by each of Rufus,
Anna, and Martha to come".

27. "Walking Song" by Rufus, accompanying himself on piano. This was
also an exceptional performance. The Kate and Anna original recorded
version was never a particular favorite of mine--not that I disliked it,
but it was never as special to me as many others, they never performed
it much in concert, and in fact it's even a little monotonous if I'm
being entirely truthful. But Rufus has been performing this song for a
while now, and the version he sang here was the most moving that I've
ever heard. He made it anything BUT monotonous. (And this is from the
perspective of someone who's never been as much of a Rufus fan than a
Kate and Anna fan.)

28. "Kitty Come Home", sung by Anna, backed by Rufus, Martha, Sylvan,
Jane, Dane, and Lily. Another moving and highly emotional performance.
Anna related the story of the song: how she and her mother drove to New
York to bring Kate and her children back to Montreal after Kate's final
breakup with Loudon. Anna said that she'd never performed the song
except for the album on which it appeared, but that Rufus had asked her
to do it for this concert, so she was going to tough it out. She seemed
on the verge of tears the whole time.

29. "Matapedia" sung by Martha, backed by Lily, Jane, and Greg

This was nominally the last song, but the thunderous applause and
standing ovation brought all the musicians out again (I would certainly
think so!).

30. "Dink's Song" (the traditional folk song that they've played at a
few venues in the last few years), sung (mostly) by Anna, Chaim, and
Martha, with Lily, Sylvan, Rufus, and Dane.

31. "Love Over and Over", by the entire company, closed the show.
Standing ovation, lights up.

A memorable live concert. I don't go to a lot of live concerts anymore
but there was never much doubt that I would try to see this one, and I'm
very glad I did.

I find myself wondering if it's the last "McGarrigles" concert that I'll
ever see. Of course Kate's and Anna's children will continue to perform
and record, but I wonder if they'll continue to put on the
friends-and-family concerts that we've came to look forward to annually.
I hope so.

I also hope that Anna will continue to write, to perform, and to record,
but there's no telling. And I understand that.

Regardless of any of that, it's been a good long run.
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Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by dick »

Richard Termine for The New York Times

Ms. McGarrigle wrote 20th-century parlor songs: folksy-sounding, latter-day descendants of Stephen Foster tunes, hymns, waltzes and popular arias. They often featured vocal harmonies from Anna McGarrigle, her older sister, fellow songwriter and performing partner since the 1970s, and from other family members in the studio and onstage. Yet within those cozy settings, Ms. McGarrigle was bold and sophisticated, musically and emotionally.

Her structures skipped beats, made sly harmonic turns and took startling melodic leaps. Her lyrics could be wry and flinty or painfully intimate, like her biting, tearful and terse “Go Leave”: “She’s better than me/Or at least she is stronger/She will make it last longer/That’s nice for you.” In songs like “First Born” and “Walking Song,” Ms. McGarrigle was also the rare pop songwriter who addressed not only love and romance but also family and long-term companionship.

Family and friends surrounded the McGarrigle sisters in shows like the one recorded for their 1998 album, “The McGarrigle Hour,” and their Christmastime concerts. This tribute concert — which was filmed for a documentary — was one more reunion, fond with glimpses of mourning. The lineup included Kate’s children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright; her sisters, Anna and Jane McGarrigle; and Sloan Wainwright, Rufus and Martha’s aunt. There were also collaborators and admirers, among them Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Justin Vivian Bond, Krystle Warren and Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons).

Along with the Wainwright siblings there were other second-generation songwriters: Teddy Thompson and Jenni Muldaur. Anna’s husband and two children also joined in, and the backing band included the longtime McGarrigle sidemen Chaim Tannenbaum and Joel Zifkin. It was a large, motley ensemble; Mr. Wainwright wore a sequined tuxedo, and the other musicians sported rhinestone accessories.

The songs were all by Kate McGarrigle with a handful of exceptions: “Over the Hill” and “Swimming Song” by Kate’s ex-husband, Loudon Wainwright III; Ms. Harris’s own farewell to “Darlin’ Kate”; and two Anna McGarrigle songs, “Heart Like a Wheel” and “Kitty Come Home,” which was written in the 1970s as a postdivorce welcome for her sister but on Friday became an angelic elegy.

The set included Mr. Thompson performing “Saratoga Summer Song,” an early-1970s tune unearthed for “Tell My Sister” (Nonesuch), a new McGarrigles collection. And it included the last song Kate McGarrigle wrote, “Proserpina,” retelling the myth of Persephone for its tension between a prodigal daughter and her baleful mother. Its introduction was the frail recorded voice of Kate herself, with Rufus Wainwright taking over.

The music got the familial treatment: vocal camaraderie with a constantly changing cast of harmonizers, and thoughtful, homespun arrangements that alluded to bygone styles and always had a clarinet or a banjo on hand when needed. But instead of Kate McGarrigle’s voice, with its reedy understatement that could be tartly matter of fact or openly heartsick, there were other approaches: Antony’s tragic intensity (perfect for “Go Leave” and “I Cried for Us”), Ms. Jones’s relaxed melancholy (in “Over the Hill”), Ms. Warren’s contralto resolve (in “I Don’t Know”). Mr. Wainwright slowed down his mother’s tunes, crooning them with an operatic sustain that moved them toward the art song; Martha Wainwright gave hers a tinge of vaudeville sultriness.

Ms. Wainwright took on songs that drew their lessons from intra-family messages: “Tell My Sister” and, among the encores, “Matapedia,” which begins with a middle-aged man briefly mistaking the young Martha for his memories of her mother. “My mom wrote this song about me and other things,” she said, introducing it. At McGarrigles concerts with her mother, she continued: “I sang backup on this for a while. And I wish I weren’t here singing the lead on it.”
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Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You – A Concert for Kate M

Post by sebmelmoth2003 »

screened as part of the sundance festival in london - 29th april.

the editor, lian lunson, has leonardian-connectivity!!
SUNDANCE LONDON - SPECIAL EVENT (WAINWRIGHT) at Cineworld and Indigo2, The O2 on SUN, 29/04/2012.

Rufus & Martha Wainwright sing Kate McGarrigle

The world premiere of Lian Lunson's film 'Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You: A concert for Kate McGarrigle', screening in Cinema 7, followed by an intimate performance by her children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright performing her songs in indigo2.

http://www.sundance-london.com/film-and ... mcgarrigle

http://www2.seetickets.com/sundance/pri ... dance&dpts
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 8:04 pm

Re: Kate McGarrigle Tribute

Post by madformovies »

sebmelmoth2003 wrote:screened as part of the sundance festival in london - 29th april.

the editor, lian lunson, has leonardian-connectivity!!
SUNDANCE LONDON - SPECIAL EVENT (WAINWRIGHT) at Cineworld and Indigo2, The O2 on SUN, 29/04/2012.

Rufus & Martha Wainwright sing Kate McGarrigle

The world premiere of Lian Lunson's film 'Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You: A concert for Kate McGarrigle', screening in Cinema 7, followed by an intimate performance by her children, Rufus and Martha Wainwright performing her songs in indigo2.

http://www.sundance-london.com/film-and ... mcgarrigle

http://www2.seetickets.com/sundance/pri ... dance&dpts
There are 2 lovely video interviews with Rufus, Martha Wainwright and Lian Lunson when they were at the Sundance premiere here http://flicksandthecity.com/sing-songs- ... an-lunson/
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