Loudon Wainwright III / Album II

Loudon Wainwright appeared on the music scene in the early 1970s when he was one of several singer songwriters labelled as the 'new Bob Dylan'. Via the wry observational wit of his songs, he's gone on to prove that he's more the one and only Loudon Wainwright. This release via the folks at Cherry Red gathers together on one CD the first two albums that started him along his long and winding road.

The albums capture Wainwright’s trade-mark driving acoustic guitar and some-what tortured vocal in a sparse production that still grabs your attention. The lyrical content can be reflective like the consideration of the cathartic experience of a cinema visit on ‘Movies Are A Mother To Me’. Familial relationships also feature strongly as they have done throughout his career. Here, the classic ‘Be Careful There’s A Baby In The House’ makes its appearance. Relationships in general are inspirational whether of the casual kind when he considers life on the road in ‘Motel Blues’, or, the more serious kind in the bluesy ‘I Don’t Care’.

Almost all of the 24 tracks are his own compositions. The exception being the arrangement of the traditional ‘Old Paint’ with a guest vocal from Kate McGarrigle. An early indication of the musical dynasty of Wainwrights, McGarrigles and Roches that was to follow.

These early recordings highlight the enigmatic nature of Loudon Wainwright. As Spencer Leigh points out in the liner notes, there’s an underlying quirkiness to him too. Neither of which have become dated fifty years later. If you missed out on Loudon Wainwright’s entrance to the world of music, this is an ideal opportunity to catch up.