Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talk to Me of Mendocino

The other night as I stretched my legs out on the couch and curled up to NPR's preview of Patty Griffin's gospel-bathed "Downtown Church," I was shocked to read that singer Kate McGarrigle died.

My introduction to the Wainwright family has been stretched over a period of five years or so, starting with the gorgeous melodies of Rufus' "Want One," catching up with father Loudon's "Attempted Mustache" last year and being introduced to Lucy over Christmas. I was aware of, yet managed to avoid, Martha's subtle songs somehow.

And I had only heard of Kate before her death on Monday. Upon reading the story I followed the page to a clip of Kate and her sister Anna singing a song from their highly acclaimed self-titled debut called "Talk to Me of Mendocino." To say I was floored is an understatement. Hymnal chords and some of the most impeccable harmonies I've ever heard seeped into my ears and I immediately felt compelled to get in my car and find my nearest record store. Unfortunately, it was after midnight. But this song has been on repeat for days and evokes the same feelings each time. Rest in peace, Kate.

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