Music Artist Spotlight – 02/18

Tom Waits

His voice has been described as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months and then taken outside and run over with a car.” and his music is equally as rough and raw. Tom Waits, born December 7, 1949, has a sound and an attitude all his own. A blues man at his core, his music shows influence from the early years of the blues, featuring a low end production feel. Tom’s voice can range from a crooning howl singing songs of love to a rough and raspy voice croaking out songs of army ants taking over a colony and ripping the opposing creatures to shreds with their sheer numbers. Mr. Waits has that cloud surrounding him, though he has made mention that the Tom Waits we hear in his music is a character he has created and not reflecting of the real, true him.

Tom’s earliest albums have that doo-wop blues feel, something that feels like it belonged in the 40s as the last number of a dance. His later works soon turned into a more wild, industrial feel with that familiar blues edge. He mentions that his change was due to his wife exposing him to the music of Captain Beefheart, who is known for his unconventional music and wild, surreal lyrics. In 2006 he released a 3 disc collection titled “Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards” which contains a good sampling of the 3 eras of his music. Therefore, for newcomers to Tom’s style, it makes a perfect door opener. A door that leads to a world of dried up ground and skies baked with the misery of the narrator, Tom Waits.

Tom Waits’ Official Site

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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