Older Than My Old Man Now
(2nd Story Sound Records)
These days, 65-year-old Loudon Wainwright III is as well-known for his offspring (Rufus and Martha) as he is for the humorous-to-touching back catalog he’s spent decades building. Rather than try and compete with those young ‘uns, though, Loudon embraces his legacy on his latest album, kicking off the proceedings with “The Here And Now,” a funny, heart-warming track which includes all four of his kids, two ex-wives, guests such as guitarist John Scofield, and his own unmistakeable style. He lays out his early years with a misty fondness, then tosses in hilarious lines like, “In the ’70′s I made it big/Skunk time, fame and wealth- you dig?”
References to past hits like “Dead Skunk” only add to the hilarity and historical importance of this disc. The title cut (a tribute to Loudon Junior, the famous Life Magazine columnist who passed away at 63,) “My Meds,” and “Date Line” cement his reputation as a first-class musical humorist. “All In A Family” puts the emphasis square on moving forward and the need for relatives to forgive and forget, Other stand-outs include the thigh-slapper “I Remember Sex,” (featuring Dame Edna,) “Somebody Else,” which deals with the loss of life-long peers, “The Days That We Die,” which inspires one of several written-word odes to his children and other loved ones, and “Something’s Out To Get Me.” a track which finds Loudon bravely facing up to his biggest fears. This isn’t merely an album- it’s a family affair, an event, and a musical scrapbook that should be heard world-wide.
- Tom Hallett