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Loudon Wainwright III

Musical patriarch, actor and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III began his recording career in 1970 and has released 21 studio albums. One of the country's preeminent folk musicians, Wainwright is renowned for both humorous and touching songs. His latest release, the career-spanning retrospective 40 Odd Years (Shout! Factory), has 91 songs on four CDs, plus a DVD of collected performances. Wainwright performs with John Prine at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Tickets are $38 to $59.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

About 1963, I saw the Isley Brothers at a roadhouse in Banksville, N.Y. I took notice of the guitar player in the band. He sported a $50 "process" (hairstyle) and played the guitar behind his back and with his teeth. Soon he would be going to England. It was Jimi Hendrix.

What are you listening to these days?

My new album, due out next year. It's called Older Than My Old Man Now.

What was the first album you owned?

I can't remember the first album, but the first single I bought was "All Shook Up" by Elvis.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

Rap music.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Hank Williams Sr.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Foreigner.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

My pet peeve is music in restaurants. Same goes for funerals.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Ramblin' Jack Elliott. After that, I bought a Martin D-28 (guitar).

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The one I'm finishing up—Older Than My Old Man Now. It features a duet with Ramblin' Jack, as a matter of fact.

More by Eric Swedlund

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