When the school year ended, I set out to have an average summer for a nineteen year old, so I decided to watch all 251 episodes of M*A*S*H before school begins again. Okay, so maybe “average” is a bit of a stretch. In any case, I recently watched an episode that pinged my musical radar (no pun intended). In “Rainbow Bridge” (Season 3, Episode 2) Loudon Wainwright III made his first (of only three) appearances on the show as Captain Spaulding, the guitar-playing soldier. My admiration for Loudon Wainwright’s folk music was reignited.
Wainwright’s career has spanned four decades. He specializes in folk music, and a lot of his songs are amusing with just a hint of darkness. That only reveals itself upon repeated listens. The best quality of Wainwright’s catalogue is consistency. Pick an album of his, any album, and it’ll be a great showcase of his many talents. The bottom line: if you like one album, you’ll like them all (and vice-versa).
If you’re in the mood for some good folk music on the mundane aspects of life (comical and sadder aspects alike), then I’d recommend putting a hold on any of Loudon Wainwright’s albums immediately. They’re all worth a listen.
Still in need of a jumping-off point? No problem. Start with his album Last Man on Earth. It hosts a wonderful collection of songs, including the spectacular “Homeless” (which I have generously posted a fantastic live version of down below.)