Martha Wainwright on music, motherhood and finding love in your 40s

I first met todays guest, Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright, when I interviewed her in Glasgow a few weeks ago. We got talking about the nuts and bolts of midlife in the green room and I was thrilled when she agreed to continue the conversation on The Shift.

One of our foremost singer songwriters, Martha has released seven critically acclaimed albums. The latest of which, Love Will Be Reborn, is on repeat on my personal playlist.

She’s also - let’s just get this out of the way now - the daughter of “folk royalty” Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III and sister of singer Rufus Wainwright. In short, she comes from a family of very distinct voices, which made finding her own a particular challenge.

Martha joined me from her home in Montreal to discuss her extraordinarily frank memoir, the aptly titled Stories I Might regret telling you. This conversation goes to all the places: the struggle to make motherhood and the music industry mix, surviving her grim divorce, finding new love with a good man, leaning into your looks, and the agony of being unable to conceive in her 40s. Martha is as candid as her songwriting. Oh and she gave us a guided tour of her enormous vagina painting!

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on, including Stories I Might Regret Telling You by Martha Wainwright and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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