Sing Me The Songs: Celebrating The Works of Kate McGarrigle
Sometimes it takes an artist’s death to really bring home what they meant. Hang on, what do I mean sometimes? This is – most often – almost always the case. In visual art and film and across writing mediums – including music – we pine for the artist when we realise they’re no longer there. Of course their work is still there, and that, ultimately, is what we were attracted to – usually anyway. So in music when an artist passes there’s the flurry of bon-mots and tribute articles, the concerts, the tribute-album (sometimes) and a chance for reappraisal. And of course a lot of this is commercially driven – finally we can sell some product, says the man in the suit; the man who might as well be selling shoes and either is too, or would be if they promised a better return. But you have to hope that sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a case of the well-intentioned we miss you and this is what you’re worth.
And that’s the case, entirely, with Sing Me The Songs, a Kate McGarrigle tribute which features friends and family and people with family connections. So of course there’s children Rufus and Martha and sister Anna and there are fellow folk/country singers who worked with the McGarrigles, contemporaries, Emmylou Harris and Linda Thompson. And it closes out with a home demo of Kate singing I Just Want To Make It Last.
Well it’s a great reminder of the weight and worth of McGarrigle’s work not just as singer but as writer/co-writer with tunes like Saratoga Summer Song and Heart Like A Wheel and Tell My Sister shining here.
Kate McGarrigle won’t be forgotten and this collection certainly helps to place her work, to show the impact and influence of so much of it. And of course this works as a splendid introduction.