Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Feb 1976 Album of the Month: Kate and Anna McGarrigle

Kate and Anna McGarrigle : Heart Like a Wheel

   Singer/songwriting sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle had already been performing in the Montreal folk scene for ten years when their songs found their way onto albums by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Judy Collins. That's when Warner Brothers invited the sisters to record their debut album, a stunning collection of songs that flow from rock to blues to gospel to a french song with a reggae beat about living outside the Canadian stereotypes.

   Despite the presence of some of LA's best session musicians ( Lowell George, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin and Bobby Keys) the Joe Boyd/ Greg Prestopino production showcases the vocals, leading Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden to proclaim "Not since Carole King's Tapestry has the female voice been recorded with such unblemished intimacy."

   A timeless album, this debut received immediate critical acclaim and was voted Rock Album of the Year by London's Melody Maker. It was also listed at #5 on the 1976 Village Voice  Pazz and Jop poll and #7 on the NME poll. On a wintry Sunday morning, there may be no better soundtrack.

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