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Loudon Wainwright III


Of whom I am a big fan. Since I heard one of his records in the early ’70s. His Motel Blues was one of the rare covers I have ever done. So rare were my covers that most people assumed it was one of mine – I had to disabuse them of that notion on frequent ocassions.

Loudon writes and sings with a self-depracating poignant iron-fisted irony. There is also cruelty in some of his songs. There is a sense that honesty is being used as a weapon and he is merciless when sings about duplicity, religiosity, drunkenness and other human traits he deplores. There is little that is symphathetic to human weakness, as he sees it. I sometimes wonder if empathy is his strong suit. Anyway, I’m not sure he’d applaud my penchant for not being able to leave an open bottle of wine undrunk. However, he sings fondly of dogs and children. I’ve read about “lacerating wit”. The term might have been coined with Loudon Wainwright III in mind. I feel he has had quite a bit on influence on my writing style. Something to do with a directness of utterence that I hear in his and which I have much admired.

His erstwhile LP, T-Shirt, has recently been reissued on CD and I was given it as a present a couple of weeks ago. What a joy the hear Prince Hal’s Dirge again! This LP was slated by the critics at the time of release and it’s interesting that Wainwright himself comments on this in the booklet notes. I commend this much underrated record to you all!