Loudon Wainwright III – I’d Rather Lead A Band Format: CD – Vinyl Label: Thirty Tigers – Search Party Release: 2020
Loudon Wainwright III’s new album ‘I’d Rather Lead A Band’ is a collaboration with Vince Giordano and his band The Nighthawks, and producer and music supervisor Randall Poster. The 14-song collection is a loose, fresh, and “anti-nostalgic” take on classic songs from the 1920s and ‘30s featuring Wainwright as singer and band leader.
As interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Wainwright and Giordano’s big band present a perfectly paced supper club set of songs by Irving Berlin (“I’d Rather Lead a Band” and “The Little Things In Life”), Fats Waller (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”), Frank Loesser (“More I Cannot Wish You”), and others with nimble phrasing and an approach that lets the songs lead the way, like a dance partner.
Wainwright feels right at home singing these songs, which he says “reflect on my whole life, really.” To choose the songs, Wainwright, Poster and producer Stewart Lerman volleyed dozens of mp3s and YouTube videos back and forth, ultimately whittling them down to 14 picks. The expansive record collection of Loudon’s father- the LIFE Magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright– helped to inform some selections, as did Loudon’s own musical beginnings as a jug-band singer. Wainwright, Giordano and The Nighthawks then recorded the album in just 3 days at Electric Lady Studios.
A common thread of this project is the participants’ involvement with the 2012 Boardwalk Empire soundtrack, which Poster and Lerman both won a GRAMMY for (Best Compilation Soundtrack). Poster – widely celebrated for his work with Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, and all-star albums made in homage to the likes of Buddy Holly and Fleetwood Mac – oversaw the music for the HBO series set in Atlantic City in the 1920s. Giordano, who is widely regarded as an expert on the music of the era, and his band were featured throughout the series; And Wainwright, who first met Poster while appearing in Scorsese’s The Aviator, recorded three songs for Boardwalk Empire as well.
Tracklist : 01. How I Love You (I’m Tellin’ the Birds, Tellin’ the Bees) 02. Ship Without A Sail 03. Ain’t Misbehavin’ 04. I’m Going to Give it to Mary with Love 05. The Little Things in Life 06. So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together 07. A Perfect Day 08. I Thought About You 09. I’d Rather Lead a Band 10. My Blue Heaven 11. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 12. Heart and Soul 13. You Rascal You (I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead) 14. More I Cannot Wish You