This box set is a rare delight. I have been familiar with Kate and Anna's work since 1975 and their first two albums have been constant and much loved companions. The idea of getting the demo tapes was exciting, but I was unprepared for their excellence. The third CD on previously unreleased work is awesome and Kate and Anna at the top of their game. There are songs here that are unfamiliar and one has to ask why work of this quality was cast aside. I wasn't expecting to find much of interest in the first two remastered CDs, I was so wrong. These works have been remastered by Joe Boyd. The clarity is wonderful. I am hearing things for the first time in 36 years. Thanks Anna and the family for this project. Everthing about it is perfect. I hope it sells well enough to inspire more releases and more demo recordings ... 'Cool River' and '(Land of the) Shining Birch Tree' are still hidden in a vault. The acclaim this duo deserve is long overdue!
After I heard the moving interview with the humble Anna McGarrigle on NPR's Fresh Air, I bought this modest-sized box set that she was plugging. Having long held their first two albums in high esteem, it was still a revelation to me that Kitty was Anna's name for Kate. A lovely support-song with this namesake, "Kitty Come Home", was Anna's account of retrieving husbandless Kate and her two children from New York City and back to Montreal where life began. These two albums are worth owning again in their digitally remastered splendor by original producer Joe Boyd.
The bonus disc of their 1971-1974 demos justifies rapt attention too. These foundational folk recordings stand just as proudly as the versions where scintillating production intercepted. In addition, there are several endearing unheard tracks with the standouts being Kate's ode to absolute freedom called "Saratoga Summer Song" and Kate and Anna's tragic farewell to "Willie Moore" with banjo and accordian backing. Both were strong lead singers, but their greatest gifts were that they harmonized like nobody else and they gave domesticity musical (and lyrical) depth and warmth. It's quite possible that this reissue could end up being recording of the year. With many thanks to the McGarrigle sisters.
You will like this three set CD especially if you met your wife in 1973, got together in 1974 and at that time heard Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing the "Swimming Song" on the radio and then looked for and bought the tape cassette which you then played drinking cold white wine,putting the glasses down, dancing a bit, not knowing that you were so happy.
I had actually never even heard of the McGarrigle sisters before Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with Anna. I liked the clips I heard enough to start listening, and took the splurge to buy Tell my Sister. It's been a few months now, and those three CDs are still in circulation in my car's player. I have listened to them over and over, admire the songwriting and singing more each time I hear them, and revel that they're still so fresh for me. What a great buy! Their lyrics and harmonies are wonderful. I would love to have known them back in the day.
The CD arrived in perfect condition. It's a great CD and brings back a lot of good memories of friends. It reminds me of the long Canadian winters when we listened to a lot of good music in old houses downtown. I think that's why Canada has produced so many great musicians. We spend a lot of introspective time during the winter months indoors. Just a theory.
Been ordered! Heard some of the demos on Fresh Air tonight - and coupled with the remastering of the first 2 lps/cds makes this a must buy for us. Mostly just to say "thanks" for the first reviewer to mention the quality of the remastering..There has to be a pretty good reason to buy 2 albums 3 times! btw..it seems pretty harsh for the K&A page at Amazon to just say: :At a Glance Split: 2010 (1 year ago).
Umm..if Kate dying can be referred to as "splitting" up the duo.
Kate and Anna McGarrigle were one of the most unique and remarkable acts to emerge from the 70's singer/songwriter era. While usually classified as folkies, their music drew on a wide range of influences, from piano-driven Edwardian parlor music through acoustic blues into traditional French folk music, complete with banjos, accordions and fiddles. Their lyrics were often wry and amusing, always thoughtful and very personal, focusing mostly on the everyday events of their lives and delivered with their ethereal, helium-tinged harmonies. This set contains their first two classic studio albums and makes a great introduction for the uninitiated, although dedicated fans will love the 3rd disc for the previously unreleased demos and outtakes.
I'd almost forgotten about the McGarrigle sisters, but as I was driving the coast here in Oregon, a ditty I couldn't peg kept running through my mind. By the time I'd gotten home I was whistling it over and over when someone mentioned it was a McGarrigle Sisters song; "The Swimming Song". On a whim, I sent for the album; "Tell My Sister". It came far faster than I thought it should, (and I'll always be thankful to the seller for that), and it just melts my troubles away every time I put it on. It's wistful at times and joyful in others, and a few songs let me use what little French I've retained from high school. I highly recommend this collection and this seller.
This is an exellent set of 3 music cds. All of the songs were very good. The McGarrigle Sisters were my favorite f Thiolk singers from Canada. However I was quite saddned by the death of Kate McGarrigle. And I realized that this would be the last set of music cds that they would ever produced. This is the main reason I bought this last set of music cds.
The first album is featured in the book "1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die." It's that good. The second album doesn't quite reach those heights, but is certainly worth having. The spare arrangements of the unreleased tracks on the third CD of this set showcase the beautiful compositions.