Veteran songsmith Loudon Wainwright III will on Aug. 19 release "So Damn Happy," a live album recorded in January 2002 at Los Angeles' Largo club and the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, Calif. The disc is

Veteran songsmith Loudon Wainwright III will on Aug. 19 release "So Damn Happy," a live album recorded in January 2002 at Los Angeles' Largo club and the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, Calif. The disc is Wainwright's debut for Sanctuary Records, and his first release since 2001's studio effort "Last Man on Earth" (Red House).

"So Damn Happy" features Wainwright operating with an all-star band including Richard Thompson on guitar, Van Dyke Parks on piano, Wainwright's daughter Martha on vocals and David Mansfield on guitar, fiddle and mandolin. Stewart Lerman, producer of "Last Man on Earth," also lends his knob-twiddling skills to the new live disc.

The forthcoming release includes songs primarily drawn from Wainwright's post-1990 output, including the debut of five new songs. The band also reached into Wainwright's back catalog for 1983's "Westchester County" and 1986's "The Home Stretch," on which Thompson reprises his guest guitar work from the original studio version.

"I enjoy being in a studio," Wainwright said in a statement, "but my songs are written to be performed so it's extremely satisfying to get the intended reaction -- and/or any unintended reaction -- from a live audience. Hopefully those listening to this CD will be able to pick up on that chemistry."

Wainwright is planning on visiting Germany in July to participate in the Ruhr Triennale Arts Festival. He will be performing July 11 and 13 as part of the festival's "Century of the Song" series, alongside the likes of Suzanne Vega, Elvis Costello and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

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