Monday, January 9, 2017

Harmonize a Song

Kate and Anna McGarrigle : Walking Song

In January of 1977, the sisters followed up their multi-faceted, classic debut with another charming album.  "Walking Song" is such a touching tune. Every time I hear it, I want to call my sister who lives three blocks away and take a stroll with my very oldest friend. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk together 
Baring our souls while wearing out the leather 
We could talk shop, harmonize a song 
Wouldn’t it be nice to walk along

Dean Robert Christgau scored the album a rare "A", writing :

Not as tuneful as some might wish, but even a bright melody must strike artists this subtle as unseemly, rather obvious. Rarely has the homely been rendered with such delicate sophistication: these women spend sixty or seventy grand trying to make a studio approximate a living room, or maybe a church basement on production numbers, and succeed! They are prim, wry, and sexy all at once, with a fondness for family life as it is actually lived--a repository of strength, surely, but also a repository of horrors--that is reflected in their version of folk instrumentation. Rather than on-the-road guitars (with their attendant corn about the wimmin at home) they rely on accordion, piano, organ; once when they need a drum they get the kind of oompah beat you still hear in parades. Even better than the debut, albeit harder.

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