MARTHA WAINWRIGHT with BRIAN BORCHERDT at the Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth), Saturday (December 6), 7 pm. $27.50. 416-870-8000.
Despite what you see on TV, it's not just auto workers and bankers who are worried about keeping their jobs in this crumbling economy. Montreal musician Martha Wainwright fears for her financial future, too.
The guitar-slinging songstress, who now lives in New York, wouldn't have thought twice about how she'd fare during a recession 10 years ago. But now, with a husband and a hankering to settle down, she's got money on her mind.
"We envision ourselves buying something," she says on the phone from her label's office in Toronto. "But I'm feeling this economic depression. No one is buying records any more, and that's definitely true in my case."
Hopefully her fortunes will change thanks to her critically acclaimed sophomore release, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too (MapleMusic). While the record is less overtly personal than her debut - you won't find her bashing her absentee dad, legendary singer Loudon, as she did three years ago - she's still as passionate and poignant as ever.
The tracks about heartbreak, especially the gut-wrenching Bleeding All Over You, are the best finds on the disc. Another song, In The Night, deals with her mother's (singer Kate McGarrigle) battle with cancer.
"I started to write songs that weren't only about my own heartaches, but also about other people's stories," she says. "As you get older, you feel it's not all about your own little life problems."
While she might not make a ton of cash off record sales, Wainwright proves she's finally escaped her brother Rufus's shadow on this new disc. Still, it's almost impossible to mention her without someone in her famous family coming up.
"One of the reasons people are interested in my family is that, in many ways, we're quite normal," she says. "It's almost like a soap opera. People can see themselves in the characters. I'm the younger sister who's a bit of a fuck-up."
She may have caused her parents stress when she was younger, but now everything seems to be going right for her. That is, unless the economy tanks even further. If that happens, Wainright's got a backup plan.
"I'll buy some land somewhere and live in a trailer and get away from sea level," she says. "I'll learn how to plant some vegetables. It's kind of exciting."