Brown Bread: Kate McGarrigle

The singer Kate McGarrigle died of clear cell sarcoma on Monday at home in Montreal, aged 63. With her sister Anna she formed the acclaimed and influential folk duo the McGarrigle Sisters. McGarrigle was the former wife of singer Loudon Wainwright III (they divorced in 1976) and the mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright

This is awfully sad. I didn’t even know she was ill.

Kate and Anna’s debut album will always be a “desert island disc” for me; a top album from start to finish. I’d never heard anything remotely like it at the time and sad to say that sort of album simply doesn’t get made anymore.

I saw them in the 1980s at the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden with the extended family and all the kids onstage (Rufus, Martha, Lily, I think even Kate and Anna’s elder sister Jane was also on that tour).

Kate was a wonderful songwriter too. To think the same person who wrote the chirpy, seductive “Kiss And Say Goodbye” could also come up with the dark, insecure “Go Leave” (both on that first album).

Kate McGarrigle remembered in the Guardian.

Kate McGarrigle: tributes from Rufus, Martha and Anna in the Times.

R.I.P. Kate McGarrigle 1946-2010

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