Folk music legend Kate McGarrigle, mother of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, has died at 63.
The Canadian McGarrigle and her younger sister Anna started the duo Kate & Anna McGarrigle — sometimes billed as the McGarrigle Sisters — in the mid-1970s, creating a modern permutation of folk music notable for their crystalline harmonies. Their self-titled debut was a masterpiece of this new folk. The group recorded regularly in the ’70s, though after 1983’s Love Over and Over their output slowed. McGarrigle was married to singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III in the ’70s; he is the father of Rufus and Martha. They divorced in 1976.
Here’s an old clip of the entire family performing in a documentary about the Civil War. That’s Rufus behind his mother.