Loudon Wainwright – Ten Songs for the New Depression
So I’ll admit that I am not a big Loudon Wainwright II fan the only Wainwright album we have is Unrequited which had the great hit “Rufus is a Tit Man” so you know how long ago that was! 1975 the year of my marriage! Anyway I downloaded Loudon’s new album Ten Songs for the New Depression and have been listening to it for about a week now – and while I think it may be a short shelf life album (an idea taken for Tom Paxton who always writes little topical songs that will be great while the 15 minutes of fame of the subject is current but then will fade quickly) it’s a great album now! The songs are all well written with Loudon’s wry sense of humor shining through. From his website:
As of this writing some folks are saying things are looking up recession wise and this particular hard time might be ending. Other experts are saying we’re in for a “double-dip” and there’s more feces heading toward the national and global fans. If that’s the case i’d like to cash in. So buddy if you can spare a few bucks, please enjoy “10 Songs for the New Depression”! – LW3 Jan. 2010
From the opening track “Times is Hard” with the great chorus:
Times is hard times is tough
Nothin’s easy it’s all rough
Not much right so much gone wrong
All I can do is play this song
The second song talks about avoiding divorce because you can’t sell your “House”. In “On to Victory, Mr. Roosevelt” which was written and originally recorded circa 1933 by W . Lee O’ Daniel, a Texas politician who (unsuccessfully) ran for Governor of the Lone Star State, Wainwright adds a new version concerning Mr.’ Obama! On the fifth song Loudon takes another old song written and originally recorded by Hezekiah Jenkins who was a songster and Medicine Show performer, beginning his career circa 1910. Jenkins recorded a handful of sides for Columbia and Gennett Records 1924-32 and somehow it seems current!
Maybe favorite track on the album “The Krugman Blues” where Wainwright takes on my favorite ecomomist Princeton’s Paul Krugman.
He’s got that hang dog look about him Paul’s one unhappy pup
Krugman looks so downtrodden I wish he’d lighten up
And I know he wants to clue us in concerning our impending doom
But I got the Krugman blues from all Paul’s gloom
And I can go on and on because each track has some great lines like these from “The Middle of the Night”
The middle of the night that’s what this is
If death is the real test this is just a quiz
When grey creeps through your window it will be day light
The end of this darkness is almost in sight
So if you enjoy well written topical songs check this album out – because hopefully this won’t have a long shelf life. As for me I have to go back and check out the albums that I missed including last year’s Grammy winning HIGH WIDE & HANDSOME: THE CHARLIE POOLE PROJECT!
Here’s Loudon performing “The Krugman Blues” You gotta love it!