From her mother, Kate McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright inherited an acute sense of melody, a certain way of expression, and a fine, reedy vocal timbre. From her father, Loudon, she inherited a penchant for soul-baring brutal honesty. Loudon slathers his with humor. Martha's is couched in Kate's artistry. But both can be unsettling, even jarring. On Martha's striking Come Home to Mama, her first album of original material in four years, she grapples with Kate's death, her apparently fragile marriage, other fractured relationships, her sometimes overwhelming sadness, worries about her child's future, and other harrowing subjects. She also covers Kate's final song, "Proserpina," a mythology-based look at mother-daughter relationships. But the album is far from maudlin. Instead it's a compelling expression of powerful emotions paired with an intriguing, idiosyncratic blend of folk, pop, and rock. Ciba Matto's Yuka Honda's production lends a cool theatricality to the proceedings, enhanced by support from such ace musicians as guitarist Nels Cline, cellist Erik Friedlander, and Sean Lennon on bass. Local singer-songwriter Chris Koza will open.
Thu., March 21, 7 p.m., 2013