Sun, Apr 15th | 11:00 AM
Monday, September 25, 2017 ♦ 7:30 PMThe Book Cellar welcomes
4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000
Liner Notes, a memoir by the influential Grammy Award-winning singer and actor Loudon Wainwright III - son of journalist Loudon Wainwright, husband of Kate McGarrigle and Suzy Roche, and father of musicians Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche – is a captivating meditation on relationships and creativity from the person at the center of one of America's great musical families.
With a career spanning over four decades, Loudon Wainwright III has established himself as one of the most enduring singer-songwriters who emerged from the sixties still performing today. Not only does he perform regularly across the country, but he remains a sought after character actor, having appeared in such movies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Sleepwalk with Me; and TV series ranging from M*A*S*H to Person of Interest to Parks and Recreation.
There is probably no songwriter who so blatantly puts himself in his songs: himself, his father, his mother, his children, his ex-wives. His lyrics are personal and, while often laugh out loud funny, can cut to the bone in dagger-like fashion. In this long-awaited memoir, Wainwright reveals all: the family history his lyrics have references; the fractured relationships in the Wainwright family throughout generations: the alcoholism, the affairs, the competitiveness; the rancor -- as well as the joy, the closeness, the successes, the fun. Loudon traces his career back to the early days of folk and rock and roll, his first studio album in 1969, and reflects on the relationships that have influenced his songwriting, notably with his late ex-wife, the renowned folk singer Kate McGarrigle; with his father, who was a well-known writer and journalist in the '50s and '60s for Life magazine; and with his three children, all of whom went into the family business.
The book is very much about being a son -- a relationship that dominates so many of his songs. But it is also about being a parent, and now a grandfather. Loudon's song lyrics run throughout the book, amplifying his prose and showing his fans the connections between those lyrics and real life. Wainwright also includes excerpts and selections from his father's brilliant essays -- and really re-establishes his father as a major essayist of his era. A poignant meditation on family and creativity, Wainwright's memoir will thrill fans, readers, and anyone who appreciates the intersection of music and life.
Erin Osmon is a writer and editor who covers music and culture. Her work has appeared in the Pitchfork Review, SPIN, Chicago Reader, FLOOD, Red Bull Music Academy Daily, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and other print and web publications. Her book about the musician Jason Molina, titled Riding with the Ghost, was published by Rowman & Littlefield earlier this year.