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Review: Sing Me Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert For Kate McGarrigle

Ken Korman on a salute to the late Canadian singer-songwriter

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When she died in 2010 at the age of 63, Canadian singer/songwriter Kate McGarrigle wasn't exactly a household name. But her influence is felt widely among those who practice songcraft. She recorded 10 albums with her sister Anna McGarrigle, and her son Rufus Wainwright and daughter Martha Wainwright currently enjoy successful musical careers of their own. Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You documents a tribute concert for which McGarrigle's extended family and friends gathered at New York City's Town Hall. The film intercuts family interviews, photographs and home movies to paint an impressionistic portrait of McGarrigle, an artist whose work deserves a wider audience. Emmylou Harris, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) and talented newcomer Krystal Warren are among those interpreting songs from all phases of McGarrigle's career, including several that were never recorded or performed publicly. But it's Martha, and especially Rufus, who carry the torch here, repeatedly matching their mother's artistry with stirring performances that elevate the film above its sometimes too-somber setting. — KEN KORMAN

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