by Rick Cornell
Speaking of Charlie Poole: On August 15, the same day that Tompkins Square released its two-disc Red Fox Chasers anthology, Loudon Wainwright III released his latest, titled High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. On the two-disc set, Wainwright—with help from the likes of David Mansfield, Geoff Muldaur, and Chris Thile, as well as various Wainwrights and Roches—tackles songs from Poole's repertoire and contributes nine new songs centered on the life of the rambling and roving Poole and the times that couldn't contain him. Among other things, this project adds to the already-abundant off-the-beaten-path promise of this fall's Rich & Loud show in Greensboro. For those not on a first-nickname basis with the duo, that's Richard Thompson, who's been known to dig back, oh, 400 or 500 years for a tune, and Wainwright.
And Danville, Va.,'s Kinney Rorrer is again in the thick of things again. Wainwright's Web site highlights Rorrer's Poole bio, Rambling Blues, as a chief inspiration, and Rorrer showed Wainwright and High Wide & Handsome producer Dick Connette around Poole's Spray, N.C., stomping grounds as they geared up for recording. Click here to download "Milwaukee Blues," an outtake from the new set.