Thursday, 4 December 2014

Anna

Today, incredibly, Anna McGarrigle, sister of the much missed Kate, turns 70 (just days ahead of Tom Waits and me clocking up our 65th). It was Anna who wrote that heart-breakingly beautiful song Heart Like a Wheel. There's an intimate, even slightly ragged performance of it here, from 1990. Watch and weep... Happy birthday, Anna.

9 comments:

  1. Ragged is the word! I love the McGarrigles, but whenever I saw them live, the show was aloways a bit ramshackle - a forgotten opening line here, an inability to get a guitar in tune there. I did wonder if they wuld make it through to teh end of some songs. But the duo is sorely missed.

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  2. Kate McGarrigle dead at 63 and Robert Mugabe still alive at 90. Talk about mysteries of the universe!

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  3. Bought the vinyl debut, unheard, and still can't think of a more purely 'musical' collection of songs. Yes GF they were pretty ragged live (Croydon I remember particularly), but doesn't that put the current tsunami of 'processed' and auto-tuned 'groups' into even sharper relief? Their music was never 'painted on' - it came from the inside, out.

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  4. PS - just played your linked vid Nige - what a heartbreaker. Something else - they never seem to be 'selling' anything - the music just emerges in a completely natural way. Thinking about it, why would they need to sell something we have already bought?

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  5. Absolutely - true artists, with deep roots in a long music-making tradition. BTW anyone wanting some bearable festive music over Xmas need look no further than the MacGarrigles Christmas Album, which features the whole clan (before Kate died) making Christmas music. Wonderful!

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  6. I doubt that any other group of people have conveyed the numbing, soul destroying effect of poverty better than that coming together of musical talent, under the wonderfull umbrella that was The Transatlantic Session's melding of the McGarrigil's, Emmylou et al singing Stephen Foster's Hard Times, that Victorian cry for the poor that twangs the heart strings and, genuinely, brings forth tears. Unforgettable.

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