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Martha Wainwright

Country of origin:

Canada & U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative folk/rock


Most recent release, Goodnight City (2016)

See also:

Martha Wainwright's site

Wikipedia's entry on Martha Wainwright

Covers/own material:

Mostly own

General comments:

Martha also appears on The McGarrigle Hour (highly recommended...great performances from the whole clan...and more!). In addition to singing on various other tracks, she also performs her own "Year of the Dragon" which is quite wonderful. (

Comments about live performance:

She did a wonderful set [at Ectofest], very warm and kinda folksy. (10/99,

River to River Festival: Boats and setting sun and Hudson River reflected in skyscraper windows. Martha a bit unhinged (just back from Glastonbury). Unnerving to watch, she'd escape from her songs with moans and grimaces and flourishes, and I crossed my fingers that she wouldn't stray too far into the wild and discomfort the staid crowd. "They keep on reminding me it's a family show, so I can't sing BMFA." And then she goes "fuck!" as her guitar makes a weird sound. The Guardian proclaimed her the most talented of her family, but that's silly when she's only released one album. (6/07,

Recommended first album:

Martha Wainwright


Martha Wainwright

Release info:

2005—Drowned in Sound Recordings—DiS0011



Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Martha Wainwright—vocals, guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Brad Albetta—bass, electric guitar, keyboards, moog bass, upright bass, keyboard arrangements, programming
Bill Dobrow—drums
Cameron Greider—electric guitar
Joe McGinty—piano, keyboards
Lily Lanken—backing vocals
Jeff Hill—bass
Jane Scarpantoni—cello
Tom Mennier—piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Kate McGarrigle—banjo, piano
Dan Reiser—drums
Erin Hill—harp
Garth Hudson—organ, keyboards, alto saxophone
Paul Bryan—bass, keyboards, keyboard arrangements
Alan Besozi—percussion
Rufus Wainwright—vocals
JC Hopkins—electric guitar
Dan Albetta—electric guitar
Disco D—drum programming

Produced by:

Martha Wainwright, Brad Albetta; Nicholas Hill (original producer, 2)


Yes it's a belated discovery. but Martha Wainwright's debut is stunning. Her vocals sound like Mary Margaret O'Hara at times. It's a very ecto if a tad angry album. Yes, I'm referring to the infamous "BMFA". A powerful track about her dad to say the least. Great stuff. (

I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too

Release info:

2008—Drowned in Sound Recordings—DiS0039



Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Martha Wainwright—vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, handclaps, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Brad Albetta— electric bass (1, 2, 8, 10, 12), handclaps (2); bass (4, 9); double bass (6); drum programming (1); drums (12); Fender Rhodes (6, 8); piano (1, 8); Wurlitzer (8); backing vocals
Marius Devries—drum programming (1)
Bill Dobrow— percussion (1, 4); drums (9)
Max Moston—violin (1, 10)
Dan Reiser—drums (2)
Kate McGarrigle—handclaps (2); Wurlitzer, backing vocals (12)
Joe McGinty—synthesizer (2)
Martin Terefe—bass, guitar (3); electric guitar (4, 9)
Pete Townshend (The Who)—electric guitar (2, 4)
Kamila Thompson—backing vocals (3)
Alex Toff—drums (3, 13)
Claes Bjorklund—keyboards (3, 4, 9)
Flip Runesson—strings (5)
Martin Gerstad—string arrangements, all other instruments (5)
Tore Johnasson— all other instruments (5); guitar, vocals (11)
Rich Pagano—drums (6, 8)
Smokey Hormel—electric guitar (6, 8) Mark McGowen—trumpet (6, 8)
Jeff Trott—bass, electric guitar (7)
Matt Johnson—drums (7)
Donald Fagen—synthesizer (7)
Cameron Greider—electric guitar (7); nylon string guitar (7, 10)
Doug Wiseman—bass, clarinet, Indian flute, tenor saxophone (8)
Rufus Wainwright—vocals (9)
Lily Lanken—vocals (9, 11); backing vocals (12, 13)
Julia Kent—cello (10)
Jens Lindgard—bass (11)
Petter Lindgard—drums (11)
Anna McGarrigle—keyboards, synthesizer (12)
Chaim Tannenbaum—mandolin (13)
Garth Hudson—piano, keyboards (13)

Produced by:

Brad Albetta (1, 2, 6-8, 10); Jeff Trott (7); Kate McGarrigle (12); Martin Terefe (3, 4, 9, 13); Tore Johansson (5, 11); additional production by Ger McDonnell and Mike Hedges (9)


every bit as good as her debut. (

best album title of the year and some great songs (

Brilliant. One of the best albums of the year. (

Come Home to Mama

Release info:




Ecto priority:


Group members:

Martha Wainwright—vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, voice bass

Guest artists:

Yuko Araki—drums (1, 2, 6)
Brad Albetta—-bass (1, 3, 7, 10)
Nels Cline—electric guitar (1-3, 5, 6, 8)
Jared Samuel—keyboards (1-3, 7, 10)
Yuka C. Honda—keyboards (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9); tenorion (3); drum programming (6, 8, 9); bass (8); bass programming (9)
Douglas Wieselman—baritone saxophone (1); saxophone (2)
Sean Lennon—bass (2, 6)
Thomas Bartlett—keyboards (2, 8); piano (9)
Jim White—drums (3, 7, 10)
Tom Mennier—piano (4)
Erik Friedlander—cello (4, 7)
Michael Leonhart—trumpet (4, 9)
Lily Lanken, Kathleen Weldon—backing vocals (4, 9)
Sylvan Lanken—backing vocals (4)
Shahzad Ismaily—all percussion except shaker, moog bass, keyboards (5)
Mauro Refosco—shaker (5); percussion (7)
Anna McGarrigle—keyboards, piano (6)
Andrew Whiteman—electric guitar (6)
Aaron Johnston—drums (8)
Hannah Cohen, Ariel Engle—backing vocals (9)

Produced by:

Yuka C. Honda (1-10); Pierre Marchand (4); Anna McGarrigle (6)


I've had both some of my most ecstatic and most embarrassed concert experiences watching Martha Wainwright. Her voice can soar to the heavens and break my heart, and her clunkier lyrics and stage presence can make me cringe and look for the door. "Proserpina" (in which Persephone's mother Demeter/Ceres pines "come home to mama") is one of the former moments, and one of Martha's best. It was written by her mother Kate McGarrigle. The rest of the album is pretty kitchen sink and there's nothing I like much yet. (

Further info:

Tracks only available on compilations include:

  • "I'll Be Seeing You" on The Aviator soundtrack (2004)
  • "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (2005)
  • "Tower of Song" and "The Traitor" on Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2006)
  • a cover of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" on Song of America (2007)
  • "I Will Internalize" on Artist's Den, Volume 3: Hudson Street Recordings (2008)
Collaborations include:

  • vocals on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's album Love Over And Over (1982)
  • vocals on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's album Matapedia (1996)
  • vocals and guitar on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's album The McGarrigle Hour (1998)
  • "Star Crossed Lovers" with Propellerheads on Red Hot + Indigo (2001)
  • "It's Money" with Gordon Gano, Hope Debates, Frank Ferrer, P.J. O'Connor, and Brendan Ryan on Gano's album Hitting the Ground (2002)
  • vocals and guitar on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's album La Vache Qui Pleure (2003)
  • "Il est né/Ça bergers" withKate & Anna McGarrigle, and Lily Lanken on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (2005)
  • "Rebel Jesus" with Lily Lanken on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (2005)
  • "Some Children See Him" with Rufus Wainwright on Kate & Anna McGarrigle's The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (2005)
  • "Set the Fire to the third Bar" with Snow Patrol on their album Eyes Open (2006)
  • "Beautiful Dreamer" with Jim Campilongo on his album Heaven Is Creepy (2006)
  • "Stormy Weather" with Rufus Wainwright on his album Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (2007)
  • "P.O.V. Waltz" with Jim Campilongo on the compilation Songs From the Point! (2009)
  • "Sea Legs" with Addie Brownlee on her EP East of Leaving (2010)
  • "Que Sera Sera" with Steven Bernsetin's Millennial Territory Orchestra on MTO Plays Sly (2011)

Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-12-16 23:32:36.
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