|...one of America's most astute lyrical commentators...lyrically compelling and emotionally overpowering. MOJO Magazine
Loudon Wainwright III makes albums about his most personal experiences, and almost nothing is considered too intimate. Honesty with Wainwright seems to be a compulsion. Yet there are at least two Loudon Wainwrights. If one is the unflinchingly naked autobiographical writer, the other is the comic, red-nosed performer... The London Times, Nigel Williamson
Mr. Wainwright has proved to be far and away the most candid diarist among the singer-songwriters who, inspired by Bob Dylan, brought confessional poetry into popular song. While others translated their own experiences into baby-boom position papers, Mr. Wainwright delighted in pulling the rug out from under his own pretensions and sticking his tongue out at his audience and at himself. Through it all, Mr. Wainwright has never curbed his ruthless self-honesty...Mr. Wainwright wrings more human truth out of his contradiction than any other songwriter of his generation. New York Times, Stephen Holden
He is a superb singer/songwriter whose closely observed, poignant but humourous songs really can make you laugh and cry (often within the same song!)...One of the greatest songwriters alive. Paint It Red, UK
10 Grammy Nominations for Rosebud Artists!
We're thrilled to announce that Rosebud Artists received 10 Grammy nominations for this year's awards taking place on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles. Artists honored with nominations include Loudon Wainwright III for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (Best Traditional Folk Album). Please see the full entry >>
Rosebud has been fortunate in that generally our artists score between 4 and 6 Grammy nominations every year but 10 is definitely a new record and we are Thrilled, especially considering the fact that Rosebud artists only released 14 eligible CDs this past year. Congratulations to all the nominees!
Loudon Wainwright III On NPR's Fresh Air, Rolling Stone review
Loudon Wainwright III was featured on the August 19, 2009 episode of Fresh Air on NPR, archived here. The episode focuses on his recently released CD, High Wide and Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project. The disc is also reviewed in the August 26, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone. The review states that the new CD "unifies the two sides of Loudon Wainwright: sentimental wiseass folkie and tragicomic character actor." Read the full review here. The new CD will be showcased in a special performance on September 15, 2009 at the Highline Ballroom in NYC featuring Loudon and many of the album's special guests. You can read more about Loudon in a cover story in the November/December Dirty Linen magazine and catch him live in his own concerts and on the Loud & Rich Tour with Richard Thompson this fall, please see Tour Dates >>
Loudon Wainwright III Featured In Disney's G-Force 3D
Loudon Wainwright III is the voice of Grandpa Goodman in the new Disney film, G-Force 3D, in theatres July 24, 2009. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the animated movie revolves around a specially trained squad of guinea pigs dispatched to stop a diabolical billionaire from taking over the world. It also stars the voices of Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Jon Favreau, Steve Buscemi and Zach Galifianakis. The project adds to Loudon's past film credits including roles in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin; Martin Scorsese's The Aviator; Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown; Tim Burton's Big Fish; Jacknife alongside Robert De Niro and Ed Harris; Neil Simon's The Slugger's Wife and a recurring role on M*A*S*H. Loudon Wainwright III's new CD, High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project will be released on August 18, 2009 and the project will be showcased in a special performance on September 15, 2009 at the Highline Ballroom in NYC featuring Loudon and many of the album's special guests.
Loudon Wainwright III's High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project - Out August 18, 2009
Loudon Wainwright III's High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project will be released on August 18, 2009. Produced by Dick Connette, the double CD revisits the life, times, and recorded legacy of legendary singer and banjo picker, Charlie Poole (1892-1931). Poole was a bootlegger, banjo picker, amateur baseball player, drinker, rambler, gambler, and textile mill worker - and one of the most popular musicians of his day, recording over 110 tracks. Connette and Loudon wrote new songs inspired by the life and times of the country music pioneer in addition to recording new renditions of classic songs previously recorded by Poole. Guests on the album include Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy Roche, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Sloan Wainwright, David Mansfield, Chaim Tannenbaum, Erik Friedlander, Chris Thile and many more. For more information on the project, please visit TheCharliePooleProject.com. The project will be showcased in a special performance on September 15, 2009 at the Highline Ballroom in NYC featuring Loudon and many of the album's special guests.
Loudon Wainwright III Guests On Late Show with David Letterman December 10th
December 2008, Rosebud News
Loudon Wainwright III will be the featured performer on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, December 10th. Loudon is currently touring extensively in support of his acclaimed new Joe Henry produced CD, Recovery. The CD finds him giving full band treatment to previously sparse acoustic recordings from early in his career. The first class band on the CD includes Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren, David Piltch and Jay Bellerose. In addition, Bill Frisell makes a guest appearance on two songs.
Loudon Wainwright III On Conan O'Brien September 17th
September 2008, Rosebud News
Loudon Wainwright III will be featured on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on Wednesday, September 17, 2008. While Loudon has appeared on the show a number of times in the past, this appearance precedes international touring in support of his new CD, Recovery. On Recovery, Loudon revisits his own classic early material, giving full band treatment (including the CD's producer Joe Henry on one track and Bill Frisell on two others) to previously solo acoustic songs. The result has met with universal acclaim as did his recent LA showcase of the project featuring guests Joe Henry and son Levon, as well as Loudon's daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche, Van Dyke Parks, and most of the band from the CD.
Loudon will be touring extensively this fall - please see tour dates>>
Loudon Wainwright III Music In New UK Play / Mountain Stage Feature
Loudon Wainwright III has written original music featured in the stage adaptation of Carl Hiaasen's novel, "Lucky You," which premiered August 2 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show is directed by Matthew Francis and will be playing at the Oxford Playhouse in England September 1-6. For details, please visit seeluckyyou.com >>
Loudon was also recently featured on NPR's Mountain Stage including duets with daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche on two songs. Listen to the show here >>
Loudon is touring extensively in the wake of acclaim for his new CD, Recovery. Rolling Stone stated "Wainwright's voice sounds better than ever, adding the weight of history to songs that were poignant to begin with". Please see tour dates >>
Loudon Wainwright IIIs Recovery In Stores August 19
Loudon Wainwright IIIs new CD, Recovery, comes out August 19, 2008. The new Yep Roc CD finds Loudon revisiting some of his earliest work and teaming up once again with acclaimed producer, Joe Henry. Henry was a major catalyst in making the project happen, encouraging Loudon to pursue the concept while collaborating on the soundtrack to the blockbuster film, Knocked Up. Henry and Wainwright re-recorded 13 tracks from Loudons first four albums with the help of musical heavyweights Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren, David Piltch and Jay Bellerose, altering the tenor of the tunes and bringing forth a whole new power and depth to the material originally recorded over 35 years ago. The result is a fascinating collection of timeless songs that showcase a musical sophistication Wainwright has gained over nearly four decades of recording. Loudon Wainwright III is touring extensively throughout the U.S. this year...see tour dates >>
What if you could go back in time and have a dialogue with your younger self, stopping to appreciate the triumphs and chuckle at the foibles you mightve experienced years -- or even decades -- back. Thats the concept at the core of Loudon Wainwright IIIs Recovery, a fascinating collection on which the celebrated singer-songwriter revisits some of his earliest work, imbuing the songs with the voice of experience and the musical sophistication gained over nearly four decades spent traversing musics blue highways.
Friends of mine had suggested I go back and rework some of my older material, but my reaction was always just to shrug, says the singer-songwriter-renaissance man. Id kept performing a few of these songs, but most of them, I hadnt really thought about in at least 30 years. But when [producer] Joe Henry and I were working together on the soundtrack to Knocked Up, he brought up the idea and wouldnt let it go, so I started going back to the early stuff.
And back Wainwright went, clear back to the first track on his self-titled 1970 debut, "School Days", a wry slice of collegiate bravado that imbues Recovery with musings about scenarios that played out in Delaware when I was younger -- a notion thats all the more intriguing when one realizes the words were written by a 23-year-old whippersnapper.
Like most overly dramatic twentysomethings, I thought Id burn out quickly, he says of the tone expressed on that song, and several of Recoverys other offerings. I certainly didnt think Id be around any longer than Jim Morrison. But somewhere along the way, I changed my mind. I got interested in being old when I was fairly young, and wrote from that perspective. So songs about getting old had one kind of resonance for me then, and another kind now.
Changes in attitude are but one aspect of what makes Recovery such an intriguing listen. Wainwright -- with the help of Henry -- also took the opportunity to alter the tenor of the tunes by augmenting their original spare, solo acoustic sound with cleverly-appointed arrangements. On Saw Your Name in the Paper, a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of spending too much time seeking fame, that translates to Patrick Warrens stately piano lines being layered over a steely, slowly-marching rhythm. Drinking Song, on the other hand, gets an even more vivid veneer of wooziness from an off-kilter percussive underpinning and a fuzzed-out six-string melody courtesy of Greg Leisz.
Wainwright describes the latter song -- one of several avowedly autobiographical essays on Recovery -- as his way of addressing the fact that there was plenty of alcoholism in the family...To quote a line from Nanny, a song not on this album which celebrates my Dad's mom, men were queer who just drank beer and ginger ale was for sissies.
That brand of black humor is but one of the calling cards the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter plays on Recovery. He addresses the loneliness of the long-distance touring musician on 1971s one-night-stand allegory Motel Blues -- a tale he grants that hes oddly detached from at this juncture in life. On a similar continuum, he takes on the trauma of being unable to write a tune on a rocked-up version of Muse Blues (driven by the locked-in rhythm section of David Piltch and Jay Bellerose)-- an ironic topic for a man whos filled more than 20 albums with strikingly original songs over the years.
My father [LIFE magazine veteran Loudon Wainwright Junior] could write to deadline, to order, and what I inherited from him was my ability to be descriptive, says Wainwright. Nothing fancy. For a guy who was touted as a new Bob Dylan, Im not cryptic or mysterious or complicated at all.
Loudon Wainwright III was one of -- if not the -- first to be anointed with that title back in the late 60s, when he began plying his trade in the folk clubs of Boston and New York. His self-effacing wit and broad humor earned a cult following -- and, in 1972, a bona fide top 40 hit in the form of the rollicking Dead Skunk. By the middle of that decade, his reputation as one of the folk-rock scenes true characters -- in contrast to his peers, he had a fondness for Brooks Brothers flannels and neatly-shorn hair -- had spread far enough that he was tabbed as a recurring character on the CBS series M*A*S*H, on which he portrayed singing surgeon Calvin Spaulding.
While Wainwright has maintained a parallel career in front of the cameras -- appearing in such flicks as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Slugger's Wife and Elizabethtown -- hes always been most at home with guitar -- or, even more accurately, a pen -- in hand. Always one for unsparing detail, he spent the 80s turning out stinging, critically-acclaimed discs like Fame and Wealth -- on which he shrugged off the importance of both -- and 1989s Therapy. The latter title is an anomalous one, given the fact that he once offered as to whether what I do is therapeutic for myself, I doubt it. My career has provided me with a living and a half-assed identity, but having it hasnt resolved any of my so-called stuff.
That stuff included a sometimes tumultuous personal life, and the rearing of several offspring, including acclaimed singer-songwriters Rufus and Martha Wainwright, the latter of whom joined in on Loudons 2003 album, So Damn Happy. In recent years, Wainwrights been reaching new sets of ears, thanks in part to a plethora of soundtrack work -- like the compositions he and Joe Henry contributed to the blockbuster Knocked Up.
That resurgence makes it all the more timely to revisit the still-vibrant material that Wainwright re-imagines on Recovery. Whether hes basking in the tongue-in-cheek misanthropy of songs like Old Friend or musing about the pleasures of isolation on the appropriately-titled Movies Are a Mother to Me, the 61-year-old still bristles with passion and energy -- and the excitement of a man whos in the throes of rediscovery, not in the midst of a nostalgia trip.
I called the album Recovery for a number of reasons, Wainwright explains. The title can be taken so many ways. You could look at it as an archeological dig -- like unearthing some dinosaur bones -- since the newest thing was from 1973. But more importantly, it also carries the connotation of getting better, which is something wed all like to think were doing.
Theres no questioning the fact that Loudon Wainwright III is doing just that -- and will continue to do so for a long while to come.
Bettye LaVette, Mavis Staples And More Rosebud Artists Recognized In Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll
Rosebud artists Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples scored spots in the top 35 of Village Voice's annual "Pazz & Jop Poll" for LaVettes Scene Of The Crime and Staples We'll Never Turn Back. The annual poll combines ballots from 577 critics Top 10 lists to acknowledge the best albums of 2007. Additional Rosebud artists whose CDs were honored were Bill Frisell (for his work with Floratone and with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano) Loudon Wainwright III, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ruthie Foster, Pieta Brown, Ann Savoy and the late Muddy Waters. Compilations that featured Rosebud artists were Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars), Goin Home: A Tribute To Fats Domino (Allen Toussaint, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Trombone Shorty and Marcia Ball) and Song Of America (The Blind Boys of Alabama and Bettye LaVette).
See the full list of albums at: Village Voice's annual "Pazz & Jop Poll" >>