Jack Nissenson r.i.p.

Posted June 25th, 2015 by Anna

Very sad news about our old friend and musical colleague of many years. Jack was a founding member of the Mountain City Four (MC4) along with Peter Weldon and Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

The Mountain City Four 1964 by Brian Merrett, www.merrettimages.ca

A rare pic of the group at the Montreal Folk Workshop on Ave du Parc in 1964, taken by Brian Merrett, www.merrettimages.ca


Audrey Bean Knowles 1946-2015

Posted April 30th, 2015 by Anna

Audrey was a stunning girl with a beautiful voice, a good friend and a co-writer of mine, ‘Cool River’ and ‘Louis the Cat.’ She was also Sylvan’s godmother. Her husband John Knowles died a little over a year ago. Sail on!

Audrey Bean 1977, pic by Dane


Old pic of us

Posted January 19th, 2015 by Anna

The two of us in front of the building in Westmount, QC where at one time we had mirror-image apartments. Looks like the era of French Record. Rufus sent it last night from London where he’s recording his opera Prima Donna with the BBC orchestra. Rehearsals start today and it should be stunning. Charge your phone Rufus!

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Some advice from Kate

Posted January 18th, 2015 by Anna

Here’s an email from Siobhan McCann sent this a.m.

Thinking of you today. This frigid cold feels like a prayer betimes…
Going through old emails I came upon Kate’s advice below, when I wrote to her in the winter of 2009 that we were coming back from Dubai…

“get out from behind that veil
put the trousers back on and behave like a male
but when the sun goes down and the evening’s fair
put on that mini and bare! bare! bare!

just some “western advice”.”

Made me smile. Perhaps it will you too. xoxo Siobhan


Gem Andrews covers Heart Like a Wheel

Posted November 26th, 2014 by Anna

Gem Andrews

On her latest recording entitled Vancouver. HLW is the 6th cut. Thanks Gem for the lovely interpretation.

VANCOUVER by Gem Andrews


Four years

Posted January 18th, 2014 by Anna

pic by Dane


Coeur de pirate aka Beatrice Martin covers Heartbeats Accelerating

Posted January 14th, 2014 by Anna

Coeur de pirate aka Beatrice Martin has done the songs for this season’s Trauma series, Fabienne Larouche’s popular hospital drama on Radio-Canada. Here is the iTunes link to the 12 song recording. Heartbeats is the second cut. Chansons de la serie Trauma par Coeur de pirate

Link to show Trauma that begins this Wed night 9 p.m.

Heartbeats Accelerating Link for 2012 cover by Emmanuel Ethier. Merci Julien pour tes infos et le lien pour cette version.


A nice piece on our music by Australian blogger Daniel Hollins

Posted January 9th, 2014 by Anna



Edith Butler covers Complainte pour Ste-Catherine (with Lisa Leblanc)

Posted January 1st, 2014 by Anna

Acadian star, Edith Butler’s version of Complainte (4th cut) on her new recording Le Retour.


John Knowles, a great character and old friend – Sail on.

Posted December 19th, 2013 by Anna

Sadly, our old friend John Knowles left us this past Sunday. John and his first wife Sandra were friends of Edward Ruznak’s, a luthier and long-time employee of Edgar and Charlotte Jones’ Record Centre on MacKay St. Edward introduced John and Sandra to Peter Weldon, the rest of us followed, and their fate was sealed. The Knowles house at 440 Grosvenor Ave. in Westmount was to be the scene of some pretty wild evenings through the 60s and early 70s, but also of more sedate musical get-togethers, to learn the parts to Bach’s Mass in B minor around the old upright. One could say it was where the rowdy met the sacred, though John never actually partook in the ‘effete’ stuff. He was more into Peg Leg Howell and Jimmy Rodgers.

A talented musician and singer with an arresting stage presence, Johnny was also a fine raconteur and just 3 weeks ago he entertained a table of dinner guests with crazy stories about his days working as a barker on the travelling carnival circuit when he was a teen…’they dart, they drive, they dip and they dive, they’re Canada’s only racing monkeys.’ As The Band sang ‘Life is a carnival.’

In the early 80s John married Audrey Bean (co-writer with Anna of Cool River and Louis the Cat) who also happens to be Sylvan’s godmother. John and Audrey, both keen sailors, spent Summers in Riverport N.S. where they own land and where John’s son Peter, a house-builder, and his family live. If you’re ever in Rose Bay, you can see examples of Peter’s work in the graceful maritime vernacular he created.

In Aug 2008, Lily and I visited John and Audrey in Riverport. Here’s a bit of video Lily shot while we were out on the boat in the mouth of La Have River where it meets the Atlantic. Sail on John.

John and Audrey Knowles, Riverport, N.S. Aug 2008 from a. lanken on Vimeo.

John’s obituary from the Montreal Gazette. Funeral is at 2 p.m. this Sat. the 21st Dec. Unitarian Church, deMaisonneuve W. just West of Claremont at Bulmer.


© 2013 Kate & Anna McGarrigle, All rights reserved.