Strange Weirdos: Music From and Inspired by Knocked Up is not just the soundtrack to writer/director Judd Apatow’s follow-up to the box-office smash The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it is the “best Loudon Wainwright album in 15 years,” according to his collaborator, singer/songwriter and producer Joe Henry.
The album features new Wainwright songs including the title track, “Strange Weirdos,” the elegiac “Valley Morning,” the tongue-in-cheek look at a midlife crisis, “Doin’ the Math,” and his Hollywood homage “Grey in L.A.” Additional music includes covers of Mose Allison’s “I Feel So Good” and Peter Blegvad’s “Daughter,” the song Loudon originally recorded with Joe Henry two years ago for a charity album. The band that played on that track, dubbed by Henry his “Wrecking Crew,” accompanies Wainwright on the new album. Members include keyboardist Patrick Warren, bassist David Piltch, drummer Jay Bellerose and guitarist Greg Leisz, along with special guests such as legendary British guitarist Richard Thompson, who plays on “Grey In L.A.,” and Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, who contributes accordion to the song “Daughter.”
“Working with Judd and Joe really inspired me.” says Loudon. “It was great to have this kind of freedom and a budget that allowed us to experiment.”
HITS magazine wrote: “Wainwright stakes his claim here…to be included in the pantheon of quirky, successful singer/ songwriters such as Randy Newman and Tom Waits.”
“I don’t think people would necessarily need to know anything about the movie to appreciate this as a complete and realized Loudon Wainwright album,” adds Henry. “And that was absolutely our goal. He’s never sounded better or been more emotionally available as a writer. His vocals are richer than ever.”