BrawlersEPITAPH #ad - Tom waits- Brawlers Remastered. It's also the disc that flirts most dangerously with cliché, barrooms, filled as it is with his well-trod inventory of Americana underbelly images: trains, jailhouses, etc. Brawlers presents probably the best-known of Tom Waits' personalities, old-timey arrangements, filled as it is with vocal cord damage, found percussion, and cartoon-buzz lead guitar.
Certainly it helps that he continues to buck the aging rocker career trend of increasing cleanliness, wrapping these songs in dirt-grit production that keeps the Big Bopper warble of "Lie to Me" or the garage 12-bar Ramones cover "The Return of Jackie and Judy" from sounding like a House of Blues exhibit.
Brawlers #ad - However, the secret of waits' act is how well he deploys these should-be-tired cultural touchstones; at the very least, he sounds more comfortable in the role of a boxcar-hopper than he does reciting the ripped-from-the-headlines Middle East folk song "Road to Peace".
BawlersEPITAPH #ad - More than any other disc, bawlers is proof that Waits can pull these kind of nightclub-act songs out of his derby hat at will, able to channel the archetypal piano-man character with minimal effort. Given that this sound goes back to waits' earliest days, and intimate "world keeps turning" to show-stoppingly anthemic "Never Let Go", the timeframe is wider here than elsewhere in the set, yet it holds together with a late-night woozy consistency while veering from AM-radio jazz "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" to folk "Widow's Grove", "Down There By the Train".
But for all the gentle piano and brass embellishments, the mood is far from serene, inhabiting the bittersweet, sentimental borderline between a bender and hangover. Bawlers, on the surface, is every bit as soothing as Brawlers is abrasive. Shrink-wrapped. Tom waits- Brawlers Remastered.
Lightnin' Sam HopkinsSUMO #ad - An absolute classic of electric Texas blues reissued on LP in a deluxe tip-on jacket. Shrink-wrapped. Includes download card for a free digital copy of the entire album. Tom waits- Brawlers Remastered. Lp + mp3 recorded in berkeley, tx during the winter of 1961-62, ca and Houston, Lightnin' Sam Hopkins features a stripped-down blues trio on some of the most intimate and powerful recordings of Hopkins' long and storied career.
Ships in certified Frustration-Free Packaging.