Family Affair

Kate and Anna McGarrigle hold a musical reunion for sons, daughters, friends, lovers--and famously churlish ex-husbands

But for all the record's folk star-power, its hero is the sisters' childhood "musical playmate," philosophy professor and sideman Tannenbaum. His gorgeous guitar on "Schooldays" sheds sunlight on Loudon's scenes of rowing on the Delaware lake of his patrician youth. And Tannenbaum's handsome reading of the Bahamian spiritual "Dig My Grave" takes this record's folkie lineage back to the field recordings that helped create it. Finally, his one original, "Time on My Hands," is a Tin Pan Alley-style number that goes over on the performer's pure pride in delivery. As an individual performance, it is the record's most innocent, heartening moment. And in the spirit of the album's communal ethos, it is organic, loving, folk culture at its most believable.

 

Their finest hour: Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Their finest hour: Kate and Anna McGarrigle

The McGarrigles and Loudon Wainwright III play 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 18 at the Fitzgerald Theatre; (651) 290-1221 or (612) 989-5151.

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