Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8: Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright is 37-years-old today.

Martha was raised in a musical family along with her older brother, Rufus Wainwright, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is the daughter of American folk singer and actor Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle. 

Martha released an independent cassette, Ground Floor, in 1997. The following year, her song "Year of the Dragon" appeared on The McGarrigle Hour, an album released by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. (Her mather Kate and aunt Anna performed as a duo until Kate McGarrigle's death on January 18, 2010.) Shortly after this recording, Martha began singing backup vocals for her brother, and released the six-song EP Martha Wainwright in 1999.

Following completing drama classes at Montreal's Concordia University, she moved to New York City, where she established herself as singer and songwriter. Music producer Brad Albetta, worked with Wainwright on her self-titled debut album, Martha Wainwright in April 2005.

Albetta worked again with Wainwright to produce her second album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too, released in Canada on June 10, 2008. Artists contributing to the album include Pete Townshend (The Who), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Garth Hudson (The Band), as well as her mother, brother and aunt.

Wainwright is signed with the independent record labels Rounder Records in the United States, DiS in the United Kingdom, MapleMusic Recordings in Canada, V2 Records in Europe and Shock Records in Australia.

She performed "Tower of Song" and "The Traitor" at the Leonard Cohen tribute concert which became the film and album Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.

In 2001, Wainwright recorded "Star Crossed Lovers" with Propellerheads for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

Wainwright along with Annie Lennox and 22 female artists performed in a concert to raise awareness of the transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. The single "Sing" was released on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2007.  Martha also recorded the song "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" with Snow Patrol in 2006.

In May 2007 Martha Wainwright, her mother, Kate McGarrigle, and cousin Lily Lanken performed "Golden Hair" and "See Emily Play" at the Syd Barrett memorial concert at the Barbican Centre in London. In 2010, Martha contributed background vocals on Hole's album Nobody's Daughter.
For more about Martha, visit her Website at-


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