Loudon Wainwright III – Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet)

Loudon Wainwright III - Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet)

Loudon Wainwright III – Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet)

Having contemplated his own mortality and superannuated status on 2012’s guest-filled Older Than My Old Man Now, with heavy dollops of his trademark wit and special knack for pathos, Loudon Wainwright III still seems far away from packing-away his guitar and putting his feet up as he returns with Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet).  Turning down the headcount a little whilst fleshing out his studio arrangements, with help from long-time collaborators Chaim Tannebaum and David Mansfield, Loudon muses on modern life through the prism of his satirical eye, his increasingly elder statesman role and his extended family life sagas.

The result is an album is that both uplifting and surprisingly thought-provoking in places.  Hence, there’s a raft of rustic and barroom reveries playfully musing on pensioner ailments and privileges (“Brand New Dance”), car parking wars (“Spaced”), life with a four-legged friend in the city (“Man & Dog”), the not-so-sadly missed (“The Morgue”) and psychiatry (the title-track).  In contrast to all the ribald uplift, things take more bittersweet turns through a truly touching observation on homelessness (“In A Hurry”), thoughts on old age loneliness (“Harmless”) and the cogitation of forever-postponed break-up plans (“Looking At The Calendar”).  In-between times, with backing vocal assistance from daughter Martha, Loudon finds space to revisit his famously career-defining relationship with the late Kate McGarrigle via the genuinely touching yet self-deprecating folk-country lilting of “I Knew Your Mother.”

At this stage in his career, Loudon Wainwright III could forgivably have lost some of his mojo, but on the life-affirming evidence of Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet), there’s still plenty of great songwriting left in the tank.

Proper Records