February 21, 2010
No, you won’t find anything about Sufjan Stevens here.
Loudon Wainwright III | High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project
Maybe this gem isn’t quite so hidden—it did just win the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album—but I doubt you’ve heard it yet. Loudon Wainwright and some of his famous family (son Rufus, daughters Martha and Lucy, plus the ex-wife’s kin, The Roches) create an odd sort of tribute album to Charlie Poole, who was an old-time banjo player from the 1920s. You see, Poole wasn’t a songwriter, so Wainwright and Co. instead perform old-timey-sounding original songs inspired by Poole’s life, along with various other songs that Poole made famous with his recordings. The tales of boozing and hard living contained within wouldn’t seem out of place on an average Loudon Wainwright album, making the resemblance between the old-time picker and the modern-day musician who is paying him tribute a bit uncanny..