Loudon Wainwright II
This article is from 2006.
For the average ageing 60’s folk troubadour, offspring can be a bothersome reminder that the carefree ethic of the time perhaps wasn’t so groovy. In this respect Loudon Wainwright III is somewhat privileged; far from having hampered his career, two of his progeny - son Rufus and daughter Martha - have inadvertently brought it into new focus.
Descended from a wealthy New York family, Wainwright was inspired by the Newport Folk Festival in 1962 to pick up a guitar and rebel. With a flair for sharp, witty lyricisms, tagged ‘the new Dylan’ he secured a deal with Atlantic in 1970. While never quite meeting expectations, his output has remained steady since, commanding a cult audience through force of personality alone.
Wainwright’s turbulent relations with his famous children are well documented, but there’s much in his prodigious talent that they couldn’t deny inheriting. Anyone enchanted by this musical dynasty’s latest silken voiced torchbearers would do well to discover why they’re so much more than a twinkle in the man’s eye. (Malcolm Jack)
Queens Hall, 467 5200, 22-23 Aug, 9pm, £22 (£20).