Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tom Waits Covers #6: Jennifer Warnes

An admission - I've never heard Famous Blue Raincoat, Jennifer Warnes' highly regarded album of Leonard Cohen covers. Because I only know her from belting out Up Where We Belong and The Time of My Life I'm afraid she's always had a strong whiff of cheese to me.

That set of Cohen covers evidently increased Jennifer's muso cred and as the All Music Guide notes, "suddenly a singer who had seemed like a second-rate Linda Ronstadt now appeared to be a first-class interpretive artist."

It's no surprise then that if she could work her magic on Laughing Len's songbook she could also have a similar effect on the Tom Waits canon.

This bluesy version of the Small Change classic is from Jennifer Warnes' album The Well. Released in 2001 it was her first LP in nine years.

MP3: Jennifer Warnes - Invitation to the Blues

But The Well at Amazon

Invitation to the Blues is in my personal pantheon of great Tom Waits songs. When I saw Tom in concert for the first time in 2000 I'll admit to getting a bit dusty when he played it solo on piano as I looked down from the balcony of the glorious Grand Rex Theatre in Paris.

This is a much earlier live version from a gig in Germany in 1977. You can grab MP3s of the while show over at Captains Dead.

MP3: Tom Waits - Invitation to the Blues (live)

As always do let me know what you think of either of the tracks and also suggest any other great Tom Waits covers I ought to post.

Previous Tom Waits Covers on Carnival Saloon
Sara Watkins - Pony
Solomon Burke - Diamond In Your Mind
Bette Midler - Shiver Me Timbers
Tori Amos & Heidi Talbot - Time
Bruce Springsteen - Jersey Girl (inc. Tom & Bruce duet)

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