Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)

Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)

by Loudon Wainwright III


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Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)

Twenty-six albums in, Loudon Wainwright's signature is etched even more deeply into the American songsmith grain on Haven't Got the Blues (Yet). Voiced in blues, roots, rock, country, folk, and even swing-jazz, his funny, biting, often tender observations of the four D's -- decay, death, depression, and drinking -- are all present, as are his dog Harry's unwelcome gifts, love in old age, and subjects that, as usual, engage questionable taste. Working once more with producer and longtime musical cohort David Mansfield and a wide array of musicians including horn and wind players, daughter Lucy Wainwright and the ubiquitous Aiofe O'Donovan also appear on backing vocals. The vintage '50s-style rock & roll of "Brand New Dance" kicks the set off: "There's a new dance craze sweeping the land/First you get outta bed then you attempt to stand...Now here's the hard part, here's the bad news/You got to bend over and put on your shoes..." "Spaced," a klezmer tune about alternate side-street parking, features a fine clarinet solo by Doug Wieselman and accordion by Andy Burton. "In a Hurry" is one of those great, empathic Wainwright songs. Played by a trio with Mansfield and Burton, its speaking subject is a pauper who addresses a businessman in a train station. He expresses his sympathy and lets him know he wouldn't trade worlds -- or troubles -- with him. Blues makes its presence known in "Depression Blues" (the back cover photograph of "Freud Lemon Jefferson" illustrates the song's subject; it's so hilarious it needs to be witnessed). Western Swing frames "The Morgue," a black-humored last laugh from a broken heart. Country and folk inhabit the center of the album on three excellent tunes -- "Harmless" (written by the late songwriter Michael Marra), "Man & Dog," and "Harlan County." "I Knew Your Mother" is a birthday song -- presumably for Lucy, who sings backup -- and is refreshingly honest about his relationship with his late ex-wife Kate McGarrigle. "I'll Be Killing You This Christmas" is a lithe swing tune with a deeply critical view of the NRA's propaganda war following the Newtown shootings. O'Donovan and bajo master Tony Trischka aid on the bluesy, beautifully written country-gospel in "God & Man." The set winds down with the droll jazz-blues of the title track -- which names the cover photograph's subject, sad clown Emmett Kelly. Finally, "Last Day of the Year" is an old-world saloon song. It's poignant in summoning the autumnal subjects of earlier tracks on HGTB(Y), and suggests that Wainwright accepts, with grudging respect, the aging process and what it entails, but he's still looking forward to new beginnings, however bittersweet.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2014
Label: 429 Records
UPC: 0795041799722
catalogNumber: 17997
Rank: 80592

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Loudon Wainwright   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Tony Trischka   Banjo
Andy Burton   Piano,Accordion
Steve Elson   Tenor Saxophone
Curtis Fowlkes   Trombone
Stan Harrison   Baritone Saxophone
David Mansfield   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bouzouki,Fiddle,Mandolin,Percussion,Violin,Celeste,Drums,Bass Drums,Harmonium,Tambourine,Ukulele,Viola,Spoons,Electric Sitar,Mandocello,sleigh bells,tin whistle,Fretless Banjo,Tenor Ukelele,Vocal Harmony,Weissenborn
Sammy Merendino   Drums
Marcus Rojas   Tuba
Chaim Tannenbaum   Harmonica,Vocal Harmony
Andy Taub   Jew's Harp
Doug Wieselman   Clarinet
Martha Wainwright   Background Vocals
Will Holshouser   Accordion
Glenn Patscha   Organ
Tim Luntzel   Bass,Upright Bass
Aoife O'Donovan   Vocal Harmony
Joe Strasser   Drums
Dom Flemons   Harmonica,Jug
Jeffrey Carney   Upright Bass
Steve Bernstein   Trumpet
Armand Hirsch   Guitar

Technical Credits

Loudon Wainwright   Composer
Hugh Brown   Illustrations
David Mansfield   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,String Section
Michael Marra   Composer
Andy Taub   Engineer
Derik Lee   Drum Engineering
Phil Joly   Engineer
Joseph Janney Steinmetz   Cover Photo
Terry Allen   Sculpture

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