As I wind down this sad year, I inevitably think of my mother more and more. She passed away on Jan. 18, and with the falling temperatures and thinning light, I'm physically reminded of what happened not so long ago. But still, my family and I are very lucky, as are certain members of the public who are in the know. We all share this: Kate McGarrigle's incredible contribution to the world of music and lyrics. The more I dive into her material, the more I realize, unfortunately through the final prism of her death, that her catalog is one of the great testaments of a female artist one who struggled with life and art at the turn of the century and in the end painted a staggering picture of a unique existence in this brutal yet, above all, beautiful world. There's a certain fierce quality that my mother infused into her work; it didn't always serve her well commercially, but now that the songs have been set free, the truth within them can shine on forever.
Wainwright is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter