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33 Reviews
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, great singing
What more could you ask for? Kate and Anna alone are worth the price of admission. But add Loudon, Rufus and Martha Wainwright as well as Rondstadt and Emmylou and you've got a folk/pop summit that succeeds on every level. Its low-key without being tedious or repetitious. Old songs, new songs: they all sound absolutely perfect. As far as having issues behind the music,...
Published on July 15, 2003 by bob turnley

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps too much of a good thing
The concept is an intriguing one. Have Kate and Anna McGarrigle, who have made a slew of great albums, gather together with their spouses (both present and former) kids, and friends around the piano (among other instruments) have a family and friends reunion and capture it all on tape. Things work out nicely, but when compared to the sisters previous work ultimately...
Published on September 3, 1999


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs, great singing, July 15, 2003
By 
bob turnley (birmingham,al,usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
What more could you ask for? Kate and Anna alone are worth the price of admission. But add Loudon, Rufus and Martha Wainwright as well as Rondstadt and Emmylou and you've got a folk/pop summit that succeeds on every level. Its low-key without being tedious or repetitious. Old songs, new songs: they all sound absolutely perfect. As far as having issues behind the music, Fleetwood Mac has nothing on this clan. Not only is Loudon Kate's ex, but Rufus and Martha have issues with Loudon for being not only absent but(in their young eyes) abusive as well.
I most enjoy the new songs by Rufus and Martha but the performance that most transports one to folk singing nirvana is the traditional 'Johnny Has Gone to Hilo' a gorgeous song sung here in a fantastic arrangement. A recording to be cherished.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The Spring I Had Great Hunger, May 29, 2001
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This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
Such a warm, charming album. It's as if Garrison Keiler handed over the stage of "A Prairie Home Companion" to the McGarrigles, and they refused to give it back for a whopping 21 songs.
The selections are eclectic--including titles from Stephen Foster, Irving Berling, Cole Porter, the McGarrigles, and a host of traditional tunes--yet work together to create one grand harmonious form, like a giant American quilt.
I sound a bit NPR-ish, I know, but I was so surprised at my reaction to this record that I push it on everyone I know. If you're a fan of good singing, or American traditional music, or just plain good music, you will love THE MCGARRIGLE HOUR.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The McGarrigles, December 14, 1999
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
This CD is pure bliss. From french folk tunes, to rufus' operatice style, you can't help but love kate and anna macgarrigle and their children, (ex) husbands, sister and other various freinds, like emmy lou harris and linda ronstadt. the womens bell like voices blend so beautifully with the men's. the songs are often poignant, like "what'll i do," a love song sung by kate, her children and her ex- husband louden wainwright iii. a child of divorce myself, this song can make me cry on certain days. rufus' song about whether he's in love or has ebola is an amazing display of humor and talent all rolled in one, and the song about sodium chloride in love means a lot to anyone who suffered through chemistry. great songs, great voices, great CD. buy it, buy it, buy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A folkie's delight!, January 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
I first came to know of the McGarrigles through the song "Heart Like a Wheel" by Linda Ronstadt. This CD is a collection of wonderful, eclectic songs, and Linda even makes an appearance. The nice thing about the CD is that so many other singers take part, including children and ex-husbands. It makes it interesting and fun, and you learn more about Kate and Anna and the rest of their very special family. McGarrigle fans should definitely get this CD!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best music you can find today, March 10, 2002
By 
KhyberNY "KhyberNY" (NEW YORK, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
I am not sure why I love their music so much, it does not demand attention the same way as the music of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan or Lucinda Willims. But the Mcgarrigles write and sing witty and sensitive songs better than anyone else can and I am totally mesmerized by it. It brings me back to to another place and time, when people still cared about things (you know, pre-MTV, Survivor, etc, etc). This album has a couple of stand out tracks, and of course Rufus W takes over whenever he appears on a track but that's cool, because they are all so talented and so under appreciated. Get this if you want to treat yourself to some really amazing music that sounds like it was recorded around the fireplace somewhere in Montreal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better Companion at Home or on the Prairie..., June 6, 2000
By 
Richard W. Williams (Glastonbury, Ct. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
Talk about crossing over musical boundries... Depending on your appreciation of different era's in music, this really does have something for everyone, or everything for someone. Mined from a rich musical history, there are MANY highlights to encourage further listening. There's plenty of long lost gems recreated with loving care, as well as a few brand new standouts.
Beginning with Loudon Wainwright's classic "School Day's(Delaware when I was younger), Loudon, with the McGarrigle sisters' thoughtful and assured harmonies let you know whats in store.
"Alice Blue Gown" will sweeten any sourpuss, owing as much to bouncey turn of the century standards as it does to Melanie in the 60's and 70's.
The whole family (Rufus and Martha Wainwright included) raise the old time standard "What'll I Do" to the level of modern classic. Lush instrumentation and perfect vocals inhabit every bar. This shows just what roots planted in such a fertile musical heritage can reveal.
Rufus's comedic tragedy "Heartbreak or Heartburn" is perfectly short of "over the top" pop/cabaret with all it's romantic sarcasm and self mocking wordplay.
"NACL" is one of the best motor-cruising songs I've heard since Mongo Jerry hurried down the highway. There's a foot tappin' baseline and fun harmonies to keep your attention throughout. Who would have thought you could find such a cool song about - salt?
Martha (Wainwright) absolutely shines on "Allez vous en". It's kind of a barroom/folle/cabaret ballad with a perfectly seductive accordian to transport you directly into a Paris cafe in 1920.
Emmylou Harris turns in a nice cameo with the bluegrassy "Green Green Rocky Road". It becomes a soulful newgrass hymn with Loudon and the McGarrigle sisters gentle harmonic sense.
Martha's shy "Year of the Dragon" seems a bit out of place here, which is further evidence that she should have a label of her own. What a Talent! People should know.
"Mendocino" will appease even the most jaded folk cynic. It's that pretty! If "My Johnny's gone to Hilo" doesn't send you reaching for the scotch, then you are already too drunk. It's that powerful.
"Goodnight Sweetheart", with all the family and friends on hand, appropriately closes what I hope you will agree is one the most charming hours in recorded music history.
This should grace the shelf of any serious music collection, but ANY listener will find something to really enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best CD Of The Year!!!!, November 9, 1998
By 
Arnold M. Brockman (Delray Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
When it comes to handing out awards this CD wins top prize hands down.The tremendous joy that comes from listening to a group of people(mostly family)having so much fun in what they're doing is exhilarating.This excellent recording will be listened over and over again with pleasure and thanks.Don't miss it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kate and Anna McGarrigle, October 25, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
I sure love your album The McGarrigle Hour This is my favorite album. It sound like Singalong Jubilee. When everyone is having so much fun singing. So I think this is the most beautiful album you ever made.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, January 7, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
Got this album today, and all in all a very well sung(as you would expect) piece of work. Nice to hear the family members, especially the girls have such good voices. I was first turned on to the McGarrigles by hearing Kate I think singing a track called "House in the Country" on the Albion Band record of the 80's "Rise Up Like The Sun" and was struck by the sweetness and kinda vulnerability in her voice.
I then didn't hear a lot more of the sisters until the T.V. programme Transatlantic Sessions, when their version of "Talk to me of Mendecino" was just about the greatest bit of harmony singing (and a great song)that I had heard in a long time. The version on this CD did not move me in the same way, so I was a little disappointed, but good singing just the same. All the tracks are well worth a listen, and this is undoubtedly a very good album, which will reward listening for many years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb WINTER disc, handy year round/////////////////////////, December 9, 2005
This review is from: McGarrigle Hour (Audio CD)
produced with near perfection...harmonies fit like a flawless piece of old clothing...instruments highly professional...voice a solid 9...go and dig my grave long and narrow make my coffin neat and strong...folk-POP masterpiece...add it to your collection, Soon, very soon.
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McGarrigle Hour
McGarrigle Hour by Kate & Anna McGarrigle (Audio CD - 1998)
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