Mountain City Four
Release date: September 23, 2022
Historic, early recordings from Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s beginnings as members of the Mountain City Four.
In 1963, Jack Nissenson and Peter Weldon recruited Kate McGarrigle to form a trio. A few months later, Kate’s sister Anna joined, and the group became the Mountain City Four. Playing locally at Montreal folk clubs, the band developed a loyal and substantial following and played into the 1970s.
Kate and Anna began writing songs which were passed from friend to friend, and eventually found their way into the repertoires of Maria Muldaur and Linda Ronstadt. While in L.A singing backups on Maria’s first record, they were invited by Greg Prestopino to record a few of their other compositions. Greg passed the demo on to Warner Brothers Records who quickly offered Kate and Anna their own recording contract and they were off and running. For several years, the Mountain City Four continued as the opening act for Kate and Anna’s live shows and contributed backup vocals and instrumentals to the sisters’ early studio recordings.
The McGarrigles origins shine brightly on Mountain City Four which contains sixteen previously unissued recordings from 1963–1964, 1969–70, and a final one in 2012 two years after Kate’s passing which featured members of the Mountain City Four’s extended family. The tracks include classics like Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” the traditional “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “This Train,” and “All The Good Times,” written by Lead Belly and Alan Lomax.
Mountain City Four is produced by original member Peter Weldon and Jane McGarrigle. The packaging contains photos and liner notes from Weldon, both Jane and Anna McGarrigle, and Joe Boyd, outlining the history and sharing memories of the Mountain City Four. Not only is Mountain City Four a window into the origin of one of the world’s foremost singer/songwriting sisters, but a look into the incredible folk music scene of the 1960s.
Jesulein Süss/Will The Circle Be Unbroken Mean Old Frisco Erev Shel Shoshanim Motherless Children Dark As A Dungeon Blue Moon Of Kentucky Reuben Ranzo You’ve Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley En Filant Ma Quenouille This Train The Log Driver’s Waltz V’là Le Bonne Vent You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond All The Good Times Sam Hall Shenandoah