Review: Loudon Wainwright as dance band crooner on new album

On the aptly titled “I’d Rather Lead a Band,” Loudon Wainwright III embraces a role even more retro than the one he has carved out as an old-fashioned troubadour

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 07 October 2020 15:35
Music Review - Loudon Wainwright
Music Review - Loudon Wainwright

Loudon Wainwright III with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, “I'd Rather Lead a Band” (Thirty Tigers)

On the aptly titled “I’d Rather Lead a Band,” Loudon Wainwright III embraces a role even more retro than the one he has carved out as an old-fashioned troubadour, putting his guitar aside to join the '20s — the 1920s.

Wainwright makes like a dance band crooner as he revives material by Irving Berlin, Fats Waller and Frank Loesser, among others. For any kids who might listen, this is their great-great-grandparents’ music, which explains the reference to a Gatling gun.

Wainwright is ably backed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and while the band is tight, old Loudo is loose. He hams it up with the same comic timing that has served his own songs so well for the past half century. That makes him the ideal interpreter of “I'm Going to Give It to Mary With Love,” a lascivious, hilarious obscurity that would make Cardi B blush.

Some of the other songs are more familiar, including “Ain't Misbehavin'” and “Heart and Soul,” and just about everything swings thanks to arrangements highlighted by muted horns, creamy winds and lots of hi-hat. Wainwright sings about fidelity, forgiveness and the consequences of a kiss, which shows the romance dance hasn’t changed much in the past century or so.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in