The Wainwright Sisters—Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche—boast a rich musical pedigree: the daughters of singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, Martha’s mother was the late-folk artist Kate McGarrigle; while Lucy’s mother is 1980s folk-pop star Suzzy Roche, one of three talented singing sisters.

Most of the songs on their remarkable 2015 album, Songs in the Dark (Pias America), are lullabies that were  sung to them as children.

The album is, as the Wainwright Sisters have said, “dark, mysterious and beautiful.”


There is a haunting glow to these sparsely arranged tracks, and the calming vocals and unhurried acoustic instrumentation have an unfettered quality that at once captures the simplicity of childhood and the sense that something more is laying in wait in the dark.

Acoustic Guitar Sessions paid a visit to the Wainwright Sisters before a show at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California, and found them not the least bit scary. The duo performed a trio of songs from the new album: “Hobo’s Lullaby,” a ballad made famous by Woody Guthrie:  “El Condor Pasa,” by Simon and Garfunkel; and “Lullaby,” by their father, Loudon Wainwright III.