Loudon Wainwright III review – classic musician still misbehaving and misanthropic at 76

Key takeaways: 

  • Performing features from his 26th collection, Wainwright engages a rowdy Yorkshire swarm with reflections on family and clever yarns.
  • “Cheerful birthday!” somebody hollers at Loudon Wainwright III. The exemplary American vocalist musician timed up one more year on Monday. “Much thanks to you,” he answers. “I’m 37.”

He’s 76, yet it’s the first of many yarns during a night set apart by sharp experiences, obscurely interesting skepticism, and devilish talk, every one of Wainwright’s brand names. “You’re all liquored up, aren’t ya?” he asks the riotous Yorkshire swarm before brazenly altering new melody Town and Country: “I can’t trust I’m here … in Pocklington!”

Wainwright is visiting Lifetime Achievement, his 26th studio collection in 52 years, an enthusiastic blend of tunes that consider maturing (“How old is 75? So old that you are scarcely alive”) and his longing for additional years. Remaining with an acoustic guitar, he plays as though attempting to escape imperceptible restrictions, his face twisted as though looking into a hurricane and his tongue shooting out of his mouth during performances. 

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To respect the UK swarm, he cleans off the accidentally convenient POW (Prince of Wales): “I suppose one day his mum will hack up that crown. However, you can’t nail her down.”

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