Kate McGarrigle is the matriarch of one of Canada’s most recognised musical families. The folk singer lost her battle with cancer in 2010 and in the following year during concerts in London, New York and Toronto a multitude of singers paid tribute in concert which would become Sing Me The Songs: Celebrating The Works Of Kate McGarrigle.
There are of course plenty of contributions from Rufus and Martha Wainwright as they add their voices to the songs of their mother on songs such as Southern Boys (Rufus), Tell My Sister (Martha) or First Born (Martha and Rufus). McGarrigle’s sister and touring partner Anna McGarrigle also spends a fair portion of time on stage during these concerts to remember her sibling.
Norah Jones is given the reins for McGarrigle’s best known tune (Talk To Me Of) Mendocino. Jones has a voice that is without fault and again delivers a classy and heartfelt tribute. Antony ensures that there is not a dry eye in the house with his angelic take on Go Leave. Linda Thompson, Richard Thompson and Teddy Thompson all pay homage to their fallen friend and Emmylou Harris and Jimmy Fallon add to the celebrity A-list.
Kate McGarrigle was greater than the talented friends that surrounded her and the timeless nature of the songs that she leaves behind. She is spoken of most highly as a mother and human being. Sing Me The Songs: Celebrating The Works Of Kate McGarrigle is a fine way to remember her contribution.
_ CHRIS HAVERCROFT