In 1976 it could be hard to find music to listen to if you didn’t like the hair and flares bands and felt a bit old for the super-glued spikes and straights; if the concept album was just too overblown but the three minute thrash didn’t appeal either.
Brought up on Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, I covertly listened to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, then someone who shared my guilty secret said “you should try the McGarrigle Sisters, they’re like Maria Muldaur only better.”
And so began thirty years of listening pleasure which came to an end this week with the death of Kate McGarrigle. Kate and Anna McGarrigle weren’t really like Maria Muldaur, in fact it was hard to pin them down as being like anyone else. Folk singers, singer-songwriters, it didn’t matter what they were labelled, they just got on with making music of an elegant simplicity, music that features some of the sweetest harmonies ever. It’s sad to think there’ll be no new music, but the music Kate McGarrigle did make in her life is an enduring legacy any musician would be proud of.