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McGarrigle Christmas Hour

Kate & Anna McGarrigle Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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"Tell My Sister"

Nonesuch Records releases Tell My Sister, a special three-disc set comprising remastered versions of Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s beloved 1976 self-titled debut; its equally praised 1977 follow-up, Dancer with Bruised Knees; and a collection of previously unreleased songs, including solo and duo demos, on May 3, 2011. Joe Boyd, who produced the ... Read more in Amazon's Kate & Anna McGarrigle Store

Visit Amazon's Kate & Anna McGarrigle Store
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Corp
  • ASIN: 5558744898
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Kate and Anna McGarrigle never became major stars but I get the impression that they never really wanted to. They record music for fun and if they can make money out of it - well - that's a bonus. At least, that's how it seems to me. They were born in the 1940's in the Montreal area of Canada, so they were raised on a mixture of musical styles including French and English traditional folk music. Another sister, Jane, sang with them for a while when they were starting out.
Kate and Anna first came to public attention as songwriters in the early seventies after Linda Ronstadt (Heart like a wheel) and Maria Muldaur (The work song) each recorded one of their songs. Although Kate and Anna recorded their first album in the mid-seventies, this is (I think) only their eighth album to date. So Kate and Anna are not exactly prolific, but they enjoy what they do and never compromise on quality or style.
This album finds the duo singing Christmas songs with family and friends. Kate was married for a while to Loudon Wainwright III (the folk singer and satirist whose album, Social Studies, I reviewed a long time ago) and their marriage produced Rufus and Martha Wainwright. Lily and Dane Lanken, Emmylou Harris and Chaim Tannenbaum are among the other guests who have long-standing connections to Kate and Anna, either as relations or simply as friends. Now I can't help thinking that they missed a trick with this album - surely the majority of the singers (without Chaim) should have recorded O Tannenbaum and dedicated it to Chaim? Never mind, the music here is brilliant anyway.
Kate and Anna are happy to play comparatively minor roles for much of the album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Mcgarrigle Christmas Hour 25 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Every home should have this to play over the Christmas period! Buy it for friends and family. They'll thank you!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real surprise 9 Feb 2007
Format:Audio CD
Normally I would file Christmas albums in the bin but found this for almost nothing (£[...]) in a sale and couldn't resist. I love the McGarrigles's music - though you'd hardly know Kate and Anna were on this. Very restrained, downbeat and verging on the amateurish at times (try the solo singing on track 1), it's quite wonderful. And it avoids the mawkish in its folk-rooted style. Excellent choice of songs (the Jackson Browne cover is particularly well-done) and arrangements. Not enough French though - maybe the kids can't do it.

Can't give it five stars because of the word 'Christmas'! The family photos included are pretty bad too. But I guess that's part of the deal: nothing is pretended or overdone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift from the Wainwrights et al. 30 Dec 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is a beautiful, evocative Christmas album, from the nostalgic cover photos to the last note on the CD. I'm a big fan of Rufus and Martha, but Kate and Anna make a great contribution to this too. It is perhaps a little too eclectic, stylistically, hence the loss of one star, but stick it on on the first of December and Christmas is here. Personal favourites are Port Starboard Sox, Rebel Jesus, the beautiful Counting Stars (a Tom Waits-style spoken account of a loser who never makes it home for Christmas - absolutely heartbreaking) and especially Rufus' Spotlight On Christmas - one of his finest songs, and a great vocal performance.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Family style singalong. 20 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
Disappointing to me, as I had heard a very good track on the radio, but it turned out to be the best of the batch. The rest were pleasant enough, but not what I was hoping for.
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