Loudon Wainwright III
Here Come the Choppers!
Wainwright appears to be adjusting well to suddenly being known as the father of Rufus and Martha. His 21st album features perhaps the best band he’s ever had, including guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Jim Keltner. That’s just as well, because the songs run more to bittersweet recollection than sardonic hilarity. The “Half-Fist” in his grandfather’s wedding photo spurs speculation about the temper of generations of Wainwright men. “When You Leave” is a regretful look at past mistakes and damage of family breakup, more poignant as you know he’s singing the truth. The title song’s surreal episode of Cops, with the strafing of stores and cultural landmarks by an unspecified menace, almost comes as a relief.