(2nd Story Sound)
Loudon Wainwright III has never been one to
shy away from his personal missteps and tragedies. Hell, he’s managed to create
a career out of them.
Than My Old Man Now, his latest, is certainly no exception.
On songs like “The Here and Now,” “In C,” “All in a Family”… actually it’s
probably easier to name the songs that don’t draw own his own, well-documented
personal foibles, but self-confessional or not, there is no denying that
Wainwright has a true gift for turning heartbreak into brilliant folk rock. “In
C,” for example, our anti-hero takes to the piano (not his main instrument) to
sing a sadly beautiful song about his world falling apart from divorce and how
well it works so well to tell the story in the key of C.
The title of the album refers to the death of
his father at 63 and how his memory remains prominent in his life still. “My
father, who died when I was 17, continues to be my principal ghost, a lifelong eminence grise,” Wainwright sings/speaks
in the title song, “and only my own end will finish it”. The family connections
continue throughout the album with all four of his kids (Rufus, Martha, Lucy
and Lexie) and two of their three mothers (Suzzy Roche and Ritamarie Kelly)
singing on various songs, as well as a recording of “Over the Hill,” the only
song Wainwright ever co-wrote with his ex-wife and fellow musician, the late
The album also includes a solid duet with
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (“Double Lifetime”). It’s hard to imagine what Wainwright
would sing about if his family was put off limits. Let’s just be glad it
DOWNLOAD: “In C,” “Double Lifetime” and “My Meds” JOHN B. MOORE