Winner of 1997 Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year - Group.
He put his big, middle-aged hands on her shoulders/ And he looked her in the eye/ Just like a boy of nineteen would do/ But she was not afraid/ She was not afraid". With this opening title song recalling first love, enduring memories, and intergenerational continuities, this is a wonderful, winsome, and worthwhile album by the incredibly durable singing sisters of folk music, Canadians Kate and Anna McGarricle. This first song, "Matapedia", is an interesting and evocative ballad that is easily one of the best single popular folk songs ever written, with an appealing upbeat tempo, a lovely melody, and some literally unforgettable lyrics. In recalling her own formative years and comparing them to her young daughter Martha, she reveals the continuities, consistencies, and character linking each member of the family to each other, and also weaves a wistful love-lost counter theme between the lines. As a middle aged guy who still feels sometime like he's nineteen, I can tell you that my first hearing of the song left me emotionally moved, and I think it likely has the same effect on a lot of listeners.
The balance of the album is typical fare for the two veteran folk singers who been around a while; wide-ranging, thoughtful, and insightful. And while the work at first listening will seem a bit uneven, it is all great stuff. This is an album one had to warm up to by listening to it a number of times, much like some of Eric Andersen's or Dave Mallett's terrific work. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a guide for those listeners who are expecting something else. If you have heard some of their timeless music, you will understand. If not, you are in for a real treat. Herein they explore the Pandora's Box of all the pitfalls of human emotion, delving into the lasting effects of heartache, life experience, and changes along the way. Listen to the first cut, calm down, play it again, and then start listening to the rest of this beautifully written, sung, and recorded work by two of the most talented folk singers in existence! Wonderful!
Anna McGarrigle: guitar, vocals, keyboards, background vocals
Kate McGarrigle: vocals, banjo, piano, background vocals
Sylvain Clavet: drums
Michel Pepin: percussion guitar, bass
Joel Zifkin: violin
Produced by Michel Pepin
Recorded and mixed by Michel Pepin
Mastered by Toby Mountain