Older Than My Old Man Now

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Older Than My Old Man Now
Studio album by Loudon Wainwright III
Released April 17, 2012
Genre Folk
Label 2nd Story Sound Records
Producer Dick Connette
Loudon Wainwright III chronology
10 Songs for the New Depression
(2010)
Older Than My Old Man Now
(2012)
Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)
(2014)

Older Than My Old Man Now is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, released on April 17, 2012 on 2nd Story Sound Records. Described as "a gleefully morbid summing up of [Wainwright's] life in which he ponders childhood, family history, aging and death,"[1] the album is produced by High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (2009) collaborator Dick Connette, and features contributions from each of Wainwright's children.

The album's title alludes to Wainwright's father, Loudon Wainwright, Jr., who was aged sixty-three upon his death. Upon the album's release, Wainwright noted, "When you’re sixty-five, everything seems to be somewhat in the rear-view, or at least in the side-view. Well, not everything, and hopefully your windshield wipers are still working."[2]

Writing and composition[edit]

Regarding one of the album's most prominent themes, death, Wainwright noted, "I'm also old enough to have a lot of friends that have died already, people I knew and were close to. The mother of my first two kids, Kate McGarrigle, died a couple of years ago. Friends, parents. So it becomes a powerful part of your life as you get older."[2] Wainwright elaborated, "The whole album is about, in a sense, the handwriting on the wall for all of us, and that’s been the situation with the songs I've written throughout my career. Whether it’s declining powers or family skirmishes or too much hanging out in the bar, this is all material that I’m assuming my audience knows about, and is going through. Or if they’re not going through it at the time, they’ll eventually get there."[3]

Two of the songs from the album, "Older Than My Old Man Now" and "The Days That We Die", feature spoken word performances of prose written by Loudon Wainwright Jr. for Life magazine in the early 80s. Regarding his father's influence on Older Than My Old Man Now and the inclusion of his writing, Wainwright noted, "He died in 1988, and I have powerful memories of him. He was a huge presence in my life, and we had difficulties... very typical father-son oedipal clashes, but he was a remarkable guy, and a fine writer. And that’s why I was so excited to be able to include some of his writing on the record, to bring him into the record. Both of my parents are dead, and in a way they've become bigger than ever, more important than ever. I don’t know why that is; maybe because I’m headed down that road myself. There are lots of wonderful old folk songs about how you’re going to join your parents on the other side. That remains to be seen, of course. But yeah, I was very happy to have Loudon Wainwright Junior on my album."[3] Following the album's release, Wainwright subsequently added spoken word performances of his father's writing into his live shows.

The track "Over the Hill" - which previously appeared as a bonus track on the CD reissue of Wainwright's 1975 album, Unrequited - was initially a duet between Wainwright and his then-wife Kate McGarrigle, and appears here as a duet between Wainwright and his daughter Martha Wainwright. Wainwright stated, "Kate, who was the mother of my two older kids, was a very important person in my life. We didn’t hang out much in the last thirty years, but that doesn't diminish the effect that she had on me. And certainly when she died two years ago it had a powerful effect on me. She was a big person in my life."[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club A-[5]
Robert Christgau A[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]
The New York Times positive[1]
The Independent 5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Spin 8/10[10]

Prior to the album's release, The New Yorker's Hendrick Hertzberg stated, "Older Than My Old Man Now is uniformly excellent. It offers not only welcome consolation to those who (like me) are shocked to find ourselves in the relevant age cohort but also, I imagine, innocent amusement to those who — eventually, inevitably — will find themselves there one day, however improbable the prospect may seem at the moment."[11]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Here & the Now"
  2. "In C"
  3. "Older Than My Old Man Now"
  4. "Double Lifetime"
  5. "Date Line"
  6. "All in a Family"
  7. "My Meds"
  8. "Interlude"
  9. "Over the Hill"
  10. "Ghost Blues"
  11. "I Remember Sex"
  12. "Somebody Else"
  13. "The Days That We Die"
  14. "10"
  15. "Something's Out to Get Me"

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

The following musicians are confirmed to appear on the album:[12]

Recording personnel[edit]

  • Dick Connette - producer
  • Alex Venguer - recording engineer

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (2 April 2012). "Albums by Rascal Flatts, Anita Wilson and Loudon Wainwright | The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan. "Set List: Loudon Wainwright III | The A.V. Club". theavclub.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c http://www.thestoolpigeon.co.uk/features/interview-loudon-wainwright-iii.html
  4. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Older Than My Old Man Now - Loudon Wainwright III". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Review. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  5. ^ Rabin, Nathin. "Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now | The A.V. Club". theavclub.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 20, 2012). "Loudon Wainwright III/Lee Ranaldo". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  7. ^ Denselow, Robin (April 19, 2012). "Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now – review". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). section G2, p. 25. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  8. ^ Coleman, Nich (15 April 2012). "Album: Loudon Wainwright III, Older Than My Old Man Now | The Independent". theindependent.co.uk (London). Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Decurtis, Anthony. "Older Than My Old Man Now | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Gehr, Richard (April 19, 2012). "Loudon Wainwright III, 'Older Than My Old Man Now' (Story Sound)". Spin (Spin Media LLC). Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  11. ^ Hertzberg, Hendrik. "Dame Edna and Lord Loudon | The New Yorker". thenewyorker.com. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Older Than My Old Man Now". lwiii.com. Retrieved 9 April 2012.