Search - Kate Mcgarrigle & Anna :: Matapedia

Kate Mcgarrigle & Anna
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Hard to believe it's been 20 years since the first McGarrigle album. Maybe it's because they've always floated so much on the fringe of things--not quite folk, not quite country, not quite fitting into any pigeonhole beyon...  more »


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All Artists: Kate Mcgarrigle & Anna
Title: Matapedia
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 1
Label: Hannibal
Release Date: 9/3/1996
Genres: Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 031257139427

Hard to believe it's been 20 years since the first McGarrigle album. Maybe it's because they've always floated so much on the fringe of things--not quite folk, not quite country, not quite fitting into any pigeonhole beyond lovely songwriting, harmonies, and singing. And now they're at it again with Matapedia, which includes the gorgeous "Goin' Back to Harlan" (recently covered by Emmylou), and tales of lives going by. This is the kind of music that should be made by (some) mature adults--thoughtful, often introspective, but with a joy in the passage of time. All the musical crap that seems to dog so much that's tagged as "adult"--which you could also call easy listening--has been filtered out by quality control, leaving arrangements that are lean, often sparse, and muscular, hitting middle age without any flab showing, but synapses still clicking furiously. Oh yes, and it's the perfect choice for those rainy fall days. --Chris Nickson

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Member CD Reviews

CONRAD S. (conrad777) from ENGLEWD CLFS, NJ
Reviewed on 7/22/2007...
A great album. "Why must we Die" gives me goosebumps.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Wonderful Folk Album By The Great Canadian Folk Duo!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

""He put his big, middle-aged hands on her shoulders/ And he looked her in the eye/ Just like a boy of nineteen would do/ But she was not afraid/ She was not afraid". With this opening title song recalling first love, enduring memories, and intergenerational continuities, this is a wonderful, winsome, and worthwhile album by the incredibly durable singing sisters of folk music, Canadians Kate and Anna McGarricle. This first song, "Matapedia", is an interesting and evocative ballad that is easily one of the best single popular folk songs ever written, with an appealing upbeat tempo, a lovely melody, and some literally unforgettable lyrics. In recalling her own formative years and comparing them to her young daughter Martha, she reveals the continuities, consistencies, and character linking each member of the family to each other, and also weaves a wistful love-lost counter theme between the lines. As a middle aged guy who still feels sometime like he's nineteen, I can tell you that my first hearing of the song left me emotionally moved, and I think it likely has the same effect on a lot of listeners. The balance of the album is typical fare for the two veteran folk singers who been around a while; wide-ranging, thoughtful, and insightful. And while the work at first listening will seem a bit uneven, it is all great stuff. This is an album one had to warm up to by listening to it a number of times, much like some of Eric Andersen's or Dave Mallett's terrific work. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a guide for those listeners who are expecting something else. If you have heard some of their timeless music, you will understand. If not, you are in for a real treat. Herein they explore the Pandora's Box of all the pitfalls of human emotion, delving into the lasting effects of heartache, life experience, and changes along the way. Listen to the first cut, calm down, play it again, and then start listening to the rest of this beautifully written, sung, and recorded work by two of the most talented folk singers in existence! Wonderful!"
Confronting Mythology and Mortality
dev1 | Baltimore | 07/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Leave it to the McGarrigle sisters to title a CD with the name of a river running through the steep green hills of Montreal. Matapedia confronts mythology and mortality using the family as a reference. The songs are elegant and ambitious. Kate opens the CD with a tale of her teenaged daughter meeting an adult male stranger (father, lover?) from Kate's past (Matapedia). Kate vividly recalls her days as a young lover, while confirming that parenthood separates adults from their past, and in the future must leave their children alone. The male figure may be a symbolic character representing birth, maturity and death. `Matapedia' moves musically like the river: meandering lazily with brief periods of swift rapids.Anna's melodic `Goin' Back To Harlin' embraces the origins of the McGarrigle's music: "Frail my heart apart and play me little Shady Grove/Ring the Bells of Rhymney/Til they ring inside my head forever." This is a description the mid-sixties music which differentiated Baby Boomers from the music of their parents. `Jacques Et Gilles' (Jack And Jill) is an account of the McGarrigle's family history. It's a tender song with no concise conclusion. The vague ending is questioned in the following `Why Must We Die?' The music is tense and foreboding, but the question remains unanswered. The obvious grim reaper finally appears in the nonfictional `Song For Gaby.'Matapedia takes a somber view of death; however, it is also a joyous expression of physical love (Talk About It). The final ending (The Bike Song) is cold, heartbreaking and bitter - "What is it that I had to be/To make you fall in love with me." Matapedia is a challenging work of beauty and courage in the face of finality. It could not have been undertaken except by parents who have endured the passing of their own parents. The overall spirit of Matapedia is neither mournful nor gloomy, but one of a deep devotion to family and an appreciation of the joys of home."