Loudon Wainwright III – Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet) (2014)
Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet) – or HGTB(Y), for short – is the 26th album in the long and illustrious career of Loudon Wainwright III. It follows his acclaimed ‘Older Than My Old Man Now’ album from 2012 – “my death n’ decay opus,” as Wainwright calls it. In HGTB(Y) he broadens his scope with a 14-song, genre-bounding set – “eclectricity,” he calls it – dealing with varied subject matter including depression, drinking, senior citizenship, gun control, heartbreak, pet ownership and New York City’s arcane practice of alternate side-of-the-street parking. Producing HGTB(Y) was Wainwright’s long time musical collaborator David Mansfield, who has backed him on numerous previous recordings as instrumentalist/arranger, including the 2010 Grammy Award winning ‘High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project’. “I got to know L’il Davey about 23 years ago, on a flight back from Vancouver – I think – to New York”, Wainwright recalls. “I’ve worked on and off with him ever since, on TV, in the recording studio, and on the road. He’s been featured as a player and arranger on some of my best records including ‘History’, ‘Grown Man’, ‘Last Man On Earth’, and ‘High Wide & Handsome’.” Other top players grace HGTB(Y), and include ace banjoist Tony Trischka, saxophonist Steve Elson, drummer Sammy Merendino, bassist Tim Luntzel, and another longtime musical cohort, Chaim Tannenbaum, on background vocals. His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, his son Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others. In 2011, they were commemorated by the comprehensive five-disc retrospective 40 Odd Years.