Loudon Wainwright III will play a special Celtic Connections show on Wednesday, 30 January.
Following the release of two-disc collection Years In The Making earlier this year, the Grammy Award winner makes a welcome return to Scotland.
Years In The Making is a true “audio-biography” of 45 years of Loudon’s offbeaten, rare and unissued tracks, boasting orphaned album cuts, live recordings, radio appearances, home demos, and more, that come together to offer a never-before-seen perspective on Loudon’s public and private selves.
Notable figures from Loudon’s life pop up throughout: Kate McGarrigle, Suzzy Roche, Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks, Chaim Tannenbaum, David Mansfield, Steve Goodman, George Gerdes, and the Wainwright children Rufus, Martha, Lucy and Lexie.
From Loudon’s early folk efforts covering Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, via his 70s and 80s forays into rock and roll, to his more recent years (including an a cappella rendition of 2017’s Birthday Boy, written on the occasion of Loudon’s 71st), Years In The Making is a treasury of over two hours of the finest Loudoniana.
None of these recordings have been previously released on vinyl or CD; Loudon hasn’t even publicly performed some of them.
“Years In The Making covers a lot of ground, about half a century’s worth,” says Loudon. “Sonically, it’s all over the place and, at times, noticeably low-fi, but my co-producer Dick Connette and I decided that didn’t matter as much as offering up something that was spirited and representational… the sources at our disposal came in various formats – hard drives, cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, B-sides, bootlegs, and reference CDs.
“There was too much to choose from, and plenty wasn’t even listened to but we did our level best to pick and assemble what we think amounts to a diverting two hours of listening.”
The last few years have been particularly busy and productive for Wainwright.
His one-man show, Surviving Twin, what he calls a “posthumous collaboration,” consisting of his own songs and recitations of his father’s writings for LIFE magazine, was premiered November 13 on Netflix, directed by Christopher Guest, executive producer – Judd Apatow.
Just last year, his autobiography, Liner Notes, was published by Blue Rider Press, and met with critical acclaim from Rolling Stone to the New York Times, and points in between.