Kate and Anna McGarrigle Oddities

Posthumous releases are, generally, annoyingly inferior, but this is definitely an exception. Apparently, the sisters had long planned such a compilation of songs recorded for various projects between 1973 and 1990, and it's finally surfaced, after the death of Canadian folk legend Kate McGarrigle. Scouring the archives has resulted in this lovely, varied collection. The Stephen Foster and Wade Hemsworth songs covered here are different than previous versions, and the spirited take on Hemsworth's "The Log Driver's Waltz" is a highlight. Energetic Cajun tune "Parlez-Nous A Boire" will get the toes tapping, while opening track "Was My Brother in the Battle" is a haunting ballad penned by Foster. The charming "A La Claire Fontaine" was recorded live in 1976, while the sweet ode to a lost feline, "Louis the Cat," is taken from an early '70s living room demo. The distinctive voices and harmonies of the sisters ― they could sing the Canadian tax code and still enchant ― are nicely captured throughout, but a little more information on who played on which tracks would have been appreciated. There's nothing odd about these ditties. (Outside)