20 January 2010

Requiescat in Pace -- Kate McGarrigle

Kate McGarrigle died Monday. It felt like losing someone in the family.

My first exposure to the McGarrigle Sisters came from an old lp, Dancer With Bruised Knees. I was smitten. The McGarrigle's never released a disk I didn't immediately buy.

They seldom went on the road, but several years ago, the whole lot of them played at the Birchmere and I was on the front row. Kate and Anna were there along with Kate's children, Rufus and Martha and Anna's daughter, Lily Lanken. It was like sitting in big warm living room with friends, talented friends. They sang and joked and told stories; the evening was memorable.

Her sisters Anna and Jane were with her at the end. Rufus Wainwright said of them, “They were brought up in a very close-knit and somewhat old-fashioned way, a nice ‘Waltons’ way, and so they could never be too far away from each other.”

Kate McGarrigle -- New York Times Obituary.

Cover Lay Down has a lovely tribute to Kate featuring the thing she loved best, her family singing.


  1. My Facebook Status (in case you missed it)

    "And let the sun set on the ocean I will watch it from the shore Let the sun rise over the redwoods I'll rise with it till I rise no more " (Talk to me of) Mendocino Kate McGarrigle 1947-2010

    A sad passing...I saw Kate & Anna perform twice with Emmylou Harris. EH was a good fit as the third sister. DANCER WITH BRUISED KNEES is one of my all time favorites. Everything was especially lovely sung in French. Also, as a devotee of 1950's country music, I was saddened to hear of Carl Smith's death last weekend. He was June Carter's husband before Cash & quite a good country singer himself.

  2. Her music and love for it live on in both her children- have multiple cd's of both.

  3. How did I miss this... so sad. I watched a great documentary recently following the process that Rufus went through in creating his opera. There were some beautifully touching scenes shared by he and his mother. If you haven't watched it you should check it out. I"m sure you'd appreciate it. So sad.


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