Tag Archives: Tom Waits

December 7: Tom Waits is 65 Happy Birthday

 

[He’s got a voice 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.”
~Daniel Durchholz

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
― Tom Waits

“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits

Neil Young inducts Tom Waits into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Continue reading December 7: Tom Waits is 65 Happy Birthday

October 6: David Hidalgo is 60 Happy Birthday


One of our heroes has birthday today!

David Hidalgo (born October 6, 1954 in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his work with the band Los Lobos. He is also a member of the supergroup Los Super Seven and of the Latin Playboys, a side project band made up of some of the members of Los Lobos. He formed another side project band with Mike Halby of Canned Heat, called Houndog.

Hidalgo’s songs have been covered by the Jerry Garcia Band, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt and others. He performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010. His son, David Hidalgo, Jr. is the current drummer for Social Distortion.

In addition to his work with Los Lobos, Hidalgo often plays musical instruments such as accordion, violin, 6-string banjo, cello, requinto jarocho, percussion, drums and guitar as a session musician for other artists’ releases.
(read more at Wikipedia)

Continue reading October 6: David Hidalgo is 60 Happy Birthday

May 7 in music history

The Rolling Stones: Paint It, Black (released 7 May 1966) (read more)

The principal riff of “Paint It Black” (almost all classic Rolling Stones songs are highlighted by a killer riff) was played on a sitar by Brian Jones and qualifies as perhaps the most effective use of the Indian instrument in a rock song. The exotic twang was a perfect match for the dark, mysterious Eastern-Indian melody, which sounded a little like a soundtrack to an Indian movie hijacked into hyperdrive.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

rolling_stones-paint_it_black
 Alice is an album by Tom Waits, released May 7, 2002 on Epitaph Records (under the Anti sub-label). The album contains the majority of songs written for the play Alice. The adaptation was directed by Robert Wilson, whom Waits had previously worked with on the play The Black Rider, and originally set up at the Thalia Theatre inHamburg in 1992. The play has since been performed in various theatres around the world.  Tom_Waits-Alice
 Jimmy Lee Ruffin (born May 7, 1939) is an American soul singer, and elder brother of David Ruffin of The Temptations. He had several hit records between the 1960s and 1980s, the most successful being “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”.  Jimmy Ruffin
 Edward Thomas “Eddie” Rabbitt (November 27, 1941 – May 7, 1998) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His career began as a songwriter in the late 1960s, springboarding to a recording career after composing hits such as “Kentucky Rain” for Elvis Presley in 1970 and “Pure Love” for Ronnie Milsap in 1974. Later in the 1970s, Rabbitt helped to develop the crossover-influenced sound of country music prevalent in the 1980s with such hits as “Suspicions” and “Every Which Way but Loose.” His duets “Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)” and “You and I”, with Juice Newton and Crystal Gayle respectively, later appeared on the soap operasDays of Our Lives and All My Children.  eddie rabitt
 My Ride’s Here is the eleventh studio album by American singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, released May 7, 2002. Zevon described it as “a meditation on death”; it was released several months before Zevon was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma.  Warren_Zevon_-_My_Ride's_Here

Spotify Playlist – May 7

Today: David Hidalgo is 59 Happy Birthday

One of our heroes has birthday today!

David Hidalgo (born October 6, 1954 in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his work with the band Los Lobos. He is also a member of the supergroup Los Super Seven and of the Latin Playboys, a side project band made up of some of the members of Los Lobos. He formed another side project band with Mike Halby of Canned Heat, called Houndog.

Hidalgo’s songs have been covered by the Jerry Garcia Band, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt and others. He performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010. His son, David Hidalgo, Jr. is the current drummer for Social Distortion.

In addition to his work with Los Lobos, Hidalgo often plays musical instruments such as accordion, violin, 6-string banjo, cello, requinto jarocho, percussion, drums and guitar as a session musician for other artists’ releases.
(read more at Wikipedia)

Recently he has played with Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Here he is part of the fantastic band backing Mr. Waits on Letterman in July 2012:

Album of the day, Will The Wolf Survive by Hidalgo’s main band, Los Lobos:

Here are some of the people he has worked with:

Buckwheat Zydeco (multiple projects),
T-Bone Burnett (self titled 1986 album),
Peter Case (The Man with the Blue Post Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar),
Elvis Costello (harmony vocal on King of America, guitar and harmony vocal on Momofuku),
Crowded House (multiple projects),
John Lee Hooker (multiple projects),
Roy Orbison (King of Hearts),
Willy DeVille (Backstreets of Desire, Crow Jane Alley)
Ozomatli (multiple projects),
Dolly Parton (Treasures),
Pierce Pettis (Chase the Buffalo),
Paul Simon (Graceland),
Marc Ribot (Border Music)
Tonio K. (Olé),
Suzanne Vega (99.9°F)
Tom Waits (multiple projects),
The 1994 tribute to songwriter Mark Heard, Strong Hand of Love,
Leo Kottke album Try And Stop Me
Gov’t Mule (guitar and vocals), on The Deepest End, Live in Concert
Bob Dylan (Accordion on Together Through Life and Christmas In The Heart, guitar, accordion, violin on Tempest)
G. Love & Special Sauce (Viola on “Missing My Baby”)
Los Cenzontles (co producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) Songs of Wood & Steel
Taj Mahal & Los Cenzontles (co producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) “American Horizon”

Other 6 October:

Continue reading Today: David Hidalgo is 59 Happy Birthday

Today: Tom Waits: Rain Dogs was released in 1985, 28 years ago

tom-waits-rain-dogs

“We are all just monkeys with money and guns.”
~Tom Waits

If you get far enough away you’ll be on your way back home.
~Tom Waiys – “Blind Love”

Tango till they’re sore @ Letterman 1986 + interview:

From Wikipedia:

Released 30 September 1985
Recorded RCA Studios
Genre Rock, experimental rock
Length 53:46
Label Island
Producer Tom Waits

Rain Dogs is the 9th album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in September 1985 on Island Records. A loose concept album about “the urban dispossessed” of New York City, Rain Dogs is generally considered the middle album of a trilogy that includes Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild Years.

The album, which includes appearances by guitarists Keith Richards and Marc Ribot, is noted for its broad spectrum of musical styles and genres, described by Rolling Stone as merging “Kurt Weill, pre-rock integrity from old dirty blues, [and] the elegiac melancholy of New Orleans funeral brass, into a singularly idiosyncratic American style.”

tom-waits-rain-dogs - back

The album peaked at #29 on the UK charts  and #188 on the US Billboard Top 200. In 1989, it was ranked #21 on the Rolling Stone list of the “100 greatest albums of the 1980s.” In 2003, the album was ranked number 397 on the magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

Pitchfork Media listed Rain Dogs as 8th best album of the 1980s. Slant Magazine listed the album at #14 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980’s”.

Tom-Waits

Reception:

With its jarring rhythms and unusual instrumentation — marimba, accordion, various percussion — as well as its frequently surreal lyrics, Rain Dogs is very much a follow-up to Swordfishtrombones, which is to say that it sounds for the most part like The Threepenny Opera being sung by Howlin’ Wolf. The chief musical difference is the introduction of guitarist Marc Ribot, who adds his noisy leads to the general cacophony. But Rain Dogs is sprawling where its predecessor had been focused: Tom Waits’ lyrics here sometimes are imaginative to the point of obscurity, seemingly chosen to fit the rhythms rather than for sense. In the course of 19 tracks and 54 minutes, Waits sometimes goes back to the more conventional music of his earlier records, which seems like a retreat, though such tracks as the catchy “Hang Down Your Head,” “Time,” and especially “Downtown Train” (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety.
~William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)

 …..I can’t choose all three albums as my all-time favourite, so Rain Dogs – the best by a snout – clinches it. Waits had refreshed his sound on Swordfishtrombones two years earlier by moving beyond piano and guitar to dabble with a wider variety of instruments, and on Rain Dogs his repertoire continued to expand, with pump organs, accordions and bowed saws. He also gained the talents of guitarist Marc Ribot, whose humid Cuban licks on Jockey Full of Bourbon perfectly complement Waits’s suave dishevelment.The range of musical styles sprawled, too, and Rain Dogs contains cabaret numbers, country songs, gospel, polkas, ballads and sea shanties. Waits is a sucker for the theatrical, and the ragbag cast here is at the carnivalesque end of things, plus sad-eyed dames and a girl with tattooed tear – “one for every year he’s away, she said” – at the late-night, romantically downbeat, Edward Hopper-ish end. (Most of the album was written in a lower Manhattan basement.)

~Killian Fox: @ The Guardian

 

tom waits rain dogs

The album has been noted as one of the most important musically and critically in Waits’ career, in particular to the new direction which he undertook from 1983’s Swordfishtrombones onwards.

The album is notable for its many different musical styles; among the album’s 19 tracks are two instrumentals (“Midtown” and “Bride of Rain Dog”), a polka (“Cemetery Polka”), a “kind of a New Orleans thing with trombone”  (“Tango Till They’re Sore”), ballads (“Time”), pop music (“Downtown Train”), and “a gospel thing”  (“Anywhere I Lay My Head”). “Blind Love” marks Waits’ first fully-fledged attempt at the country genre. As Waits said on the Rain Dogs Island Promo Tape (which consisted of taped comments on songs as sent to radio stations, circa late 1985):

“Blind Love” is one of my first country songs. I like Merle Haggard. Most of those other guys, though, sound like they’re all just drinking tea and watching their waist and talking to their accountant. This one I think subscribes to some of that roadhouse feel.

The song “Hang Down Your Head” is loosely based on the folk song “Tom Dooley”, with the lyrics altered but the melody remaining mostly intact.

Rolling Stone called Rain Dogs Waits’ “finest portrait of the tragic kingdom of the streets.” The album’s title comes from an expression which suggests such an atmosphere. Waits cast further light on the metaphor by stating that the album was about “People who live outdoors. You know how after the rain you see all these dogs that seem lost, wandering around. The rain washes away all their scent, all their direction. So all the people on the album are knit together, by some corporeal way of sharing pain and discomfort.”

According to Barney Hoskyns, the album’s general theme of “the urban dispossessed” was inspired in part by Martin Bell’s 1984 documentary Streetwise, to which Waits had been asked to contribute music.

Track Listing:

  1. “Singapore” 2:46
  2. “Clap Hands” 3:47
  3. “Cemetery Polka” 1:51
  4. “Jockey Full of Bourbon” 2:45
  5. “Tango Till They’re Sore” 2:49
  6. “Big Black Mariah” 2:44
  7. “Diamonds & Gold” 2:31
  8. “Hang Down Your Head” Kathleen Brennan, Waits 2:32
  9. “Time” 3:55
  10. “Rain Dogs” 2:56
  11. “Midtown” (instrumental) 1:00
  12. “9th & Hennepin” 1:58
  13. “Gun Street Girl” 4:37
  14. “Union Square” 2:24
  15. “Blind Love” 4:18
  16. “Walking Spanish” 3:05
  17. “Downtown Train” 3:53
  18. “Bride of Rain Dog” (instrumental) 1:07
  19. “Anywhere I Lay My Head”

Personnel:

Performer
  • Tom Waits – vocals (1–10, 12–17, 19), guitar (2, 4, 6, 8–10, 15–17), organ (3, 19), piano (5, 12), pump organ (8), harmonium (18), banjo (13)
Musicians
  • Tom Waits – vocals (1–10, 12–17, 19), guitar (2, 4, 6, 8–10, 15–17), organ (3, 19), piano (5, 12), pump organ (8), harmonium (18), banjo (13)
  • Michael Blair – percussion (1–4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17), marimba (2, 7, 10, 12), drums (8, 14, 18), congas (4), bowed saw (12), parade drum (19)
  • Stephen Hodges – drums (1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 15, 16), parade drum (3)
  • Larry Taylor – double bass (1, 3, 4, 6, 8–10, 15), bass (7, 11, 14, 16)
  • Marc Ribot – guitar (1–4, 7, 8, 10)
  • “Hollywood” Paul Litteral – trumpet (1, 11, 19)
  • Bobby Previte – percussion (2), marimba (2)
  • William Schimmel – accordion (3, 9, 10)
  • Bob Funk – trombone (3, 5, 10, 11, 19)
  • Ralph Carney – baritone saxophone (4, 14), saxophone (11, 18), clarinet (12)
  • Greg Cohen – double bass (5, 12, 13)
  • Chris Spedding – guitar (1)
  • Tony Garnier – double bass (2)
  • Keith Richards – guitar (6, 14, 15), backing vocals (15)
  • Robert Musso – banjo (7)
  • Arno Hecht – tenor saxophone (11, 19)
  • Crispin Cioe – saxophone (11, 19)
  • Robert Quine – guitar (15, 17)
  • Ross Levinson – violin (15)
  • John Lurie – alto saxophone (16)
  • G.E. Smith – guitar (17)
  • Mickey Curry – drums (17)
  • Tony Levin – bass (17)
  • Robert Kilgore – organ (17)


Technical personnel:
  • Tom Waits – producer
  • Robert Musso – engineer, mixing (A1–B7, B9, B10)
  • Tom Gonzales – recording
  • Dennis Ferrante – recording
  • Jeff Lippay – recording, mixing (B8)
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering

“Jockey Full of Bourbon” and “Don’t Go into that Barn – London Nov. 2004:

Rain Dogs:

Other September 30:

Continue reading Today: Tom Waits: Rain Dogs was released in 1985, 28 years ago