Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

by Tom WaitsTom Waits




Even though he's no longer prone to imbibing anything stronger than a double espresso, Tom Waits is seemingly incapable of walking a straight line when it comes to his musical output -- much to the delight of folks who revel in his wide-eyed explorations of the art house and the flophouse. Waits initially envisioned Orphans as something of an archive-emptying venture, but rounding up the material led him in enough unexpected directions to require expansion to three full discs: Brawlers for rough-hewn rock; Bawlers for sea chanteys, ballads, and drinking songs; and Bastards for unreconstructed eccentricity. While tethered by Waits's unmistakable voice -- both in a literal and figurative sense -- each volume has a distinct personality. Brawlers veers between seething passion, evinced in the free-form wail of "Road to Peace" (an unblinking, unpartisan look at terror in the Middle East) and barroom-ready raunch, brought to the fore on the bump 'n' grind of "Low Down" and an off-kilter cover of the Ramones' "The Return of Jackie and Judy." Oddly enough, that band shows up again on Bawlers, in the form of a poignantly swaying version of "Danny Says" that, despite its seeming idiosyncrasy, fits in nicely with Waits's versions of "Goodnight Irene" and "Young at Heart." It's the original material, however, that really shines through, notably the sentimental-but-not-saccharine "Tell It to Me." The funhouse mirror distortions that run through Bastards -- from the menacingly eschatological blues of "Books of Moses" to the chain-gang chanting of "King Kong" -- lend a dark, disturbing tone, but Waits balances that out with a passel of spoken-word pieces that exude the woozy good humor at the core of his all-too-uncommon live shows. At its core, Orphans is not only a testament to Waits' innate artistry, but to the purity of soul that's driven him all along.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/05/2006
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778684427
catalogNumber: 86844

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Waits   Primary Artist,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Pump Organ
Charlie Musselwhite   Harmonica
Dave Alvin   Guitar
Jimmy Cleveland   Trombone
Billy Higgins   Drums
Marc Ribot   Guitar
Matthew Brubeck   Bass
Ralph Carney   Saxophone
Ray Armando   Percussion
Bobby Black   Steel Guitar
Michael Blair   Percussion,Drums
Brain   Percussion
Brett Gurewitz   Guitar
Crispin Cioe   Saxophone
Bent Clausen   Banjo
Claypool   Bass
Harry Cody   Banjo
Greg Cohen   Bass
Steve Foreman   Percussion
Mitchell Froom   chamberlain
Bob Funk   Trombone
Joe Gore   Guitar
Arno Hecht   Saxophone
Art Hillery   Piano
Stephen Hodges   Percussion
Hollywood Paul Litteral   Trumpet
Trevor Horn   Bass
Mark Linkous   Bass,Guitar,Drums
Tom Nunn   Bugle
Nick Phelps   Horn
Gino Robair   Percussion
Nolan Andrew Smith   Trumpet
Francis Thumm   Piano
Leroy Vinnegar   Bass
Richard Waters   Waterphone
Ron Hacker   Guitar
Larry LaLonde   Guitar
Carla Kihlstedt   Violin
Tom Yoder   Trombone
Larry "The Mole" Taylor   Bass
Adam Lane   Bass
Dan Plonsey   Clarinet
Andrew Borger   Percussion
Jeff Sloan   Percussion
Chris Grady   Trumpet
Mike Silverman   Bass
Eric Perney   Bass
Dan Cantrell   Accordion
Ara Anderson   Trumpet
Bebe Risenfors   Clarinet
Casey Waits   Drums
Seth Ford Young   Bass
Sullivan Waits   Guitar
John F. Hammond   Harmonica
Eddie Davis Orchestra   Banjo
Anges Amar   Human Whistle
Bobby Baloo   cowbell
Guy Klesevic   Accordion
Gary Knowlton   Keyboards
Mike Knowlton   Guitar

Technical Credits

Tom Waits   Arranger,Producer
Tchad Blake   Engineer
Brett Gurewitz   Engineer
Biff Dawes   Engineer
Karl Derfler   Remixing
Oz Fritz   Engineer
Mitchell Froom   Engineer
Matt Mahurin   Photo Enhancement
Bob Musso   Engineer
Jacquire King   Engineer
Gene Cornelius   Engineer
Johnny Brewton   Art Direction
Julianne Deery   Cover Photo
Mark Howard   Engineer
Bernd Bergdorg   Engineer

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