A Wayward Word's Worth

January 22, 2011

Wainwright Family Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:37 am

Folk legend and Grammy winner, Loudon Wainwright champions the ukulele and his kin’s rhythmic lineage. By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Jan. 20 2011

When those nylon strings bite into Loudon Wainwright III’s fingertips the folk luminary winces happily- not from pain, but from the jangling rhythms that can be coaxed from his ukulele.

“It has a kind of cheerful tone,” says the singer songwriter of his prized instrument, which he will likely break out along with a banjo and guitar during his Jan. 26 gig at the Arden Theatre. “First of all, I spend a lot of time lugging a guitar around — sometimes a banjo.  A ukulele is very light weight and compact. That’s one thing right there. [But] I put [a song about] it on my new record — I believe it’s the last track — because of its sound, you know, those nylon strings.”

That whimsical ditty, dubbed “Got a Ukulele,” includes lines like “I don’t play no fiddle no, mystery no riddle… four strings made of nylon, always put a smile on…” And, fun as it may be to play, a wincing cringe may come from the considerable change in tone between that quirky closing track and the rest of the songs that make up his latest album, 10 Songs for the New Depression — from the opening tune “Times Is Hard,” to “The Panic Is On,” and “Fear Itself.”

But Wainwright insists that his ukulele ode is as crucial as anything else on the album, because a folkster’s role is not to merely comment but also celebrate.




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