Loudon Wainwright III
Like his contemporary Townes Van Zandt, Loudon Wainwright III comes from a wealthy and blue-blooded family -- but he spit out the upper crust in the late '60s to embrace the everyman poetics of folk music. Since then, the course of his career has jackknifed all over the place, from novelty songwriter (for his unlikely 1972 hit "Dead Skunk") to actor (he's appeared in everything from M*A*S*H to Big Fish to Cameron Crowe's upcoming Elizabethtown). But his earnest, engaging and all-too-human folk tunes are his most notable endeavor. While many songsmiths of his generation have either burned out or faded away, Wainwright has kept the relevance aglow with discs like his 1992 opus, History, and last year's So Damn Happy -- a spirited live document featuring A-list guests such as Van Dyke Parks and Richard Thompson. Stop by the Lion's Lair tonight for the rare opportunity to see an undisputed legend on a stage as intimate as his music.
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