Aug 042010

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When you think of Tom Waits, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably his voice. One critic described it as “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.” An anonymous fan said it sounded like Tom “smoked a pack of cigarettes and swallowed a pack of razor blades…late at night. After not sleeping for three days.” Clearly this is an acquired taste.

Pascal Fricke’s Tom Waits tribute disc Bangin’ on the Table with an Old Tin Cup requires no such effort. Fricke (aka. “waitswatcher“) uses ukulele, guitar, mandolin, percussion and more to create instrumental masterpieces that excavate the haunting melodies buried deep underground. Each one’s more gorgeous than the last, evoking a fragile beauty that lifts you up then breaks your heart.

A hardcore fan, Fricke avoids the obvious choices. No “Tom Traubert’s Blues” here. No “Ol’ 55,” “Downtown Train,” or “Jersey Girl” either. A lot of the songs he chooses are from Tom’s recent catalog; if you know 2006’s Orphans collection, you’re in luck. If you don’t, you’re in luck too. These songs stand on their own regardless of your familiarity with the deep cuts.

We’ve got a few samples for you below, but there are 35 in total, all free for download at the bottom. And that’s just volume one! Since this collection’ 2007 release Fricke has done two more sets…but we’ll save those for a later date. 35 songs should be enough to get you started.

MP3: Pascal Fricke – Hoist That Rag (Tom Waits cover)
MP3: Pascal Fricke – The Heart of Saturday Night (Tom Waits cover)
MP3: Pascal Fricke – You Can Never Hold Back Spring (Tom Waits cover)

Bangin’ on the Table with an Old Tin Cup: A Tom Waits Tribute

Disc 1
01. Good Old World
02. Hoist That Rag
03. You Can Never Hold Back Spring
04. Dead and Lovely
05. Two Sisters
06. Gun Street Girl
07. No One Knows I’m Gone
08. Trampled Rose
09. I’m Still Here
10. 2:19
11. Smuggler’s Waltz
12. If I Have to Go
13. Serrano
14. I Beg Your Pardon
15. Murder in the Red Barn
16. Take It With Me
17. Two Sisters (Reprise)
18. The Heart of Saturday Night

Disc 2
01. Earth Died Screaming.
02. On the Other Side of the World
03. Never Let Go
04. Blue Valentines
05. Jesus Gonna Be Here
06. How’s It Gonna End?
07. Buzz Fledderjohn
08. Fawn
09. Little Drop of Poison
10. Picture in a Frame
11. Burma Shave
12. Shiny Things
13. ‘Night on Earth’ Theme
14. Foreign Affair
15. Jayne’s Blue Wish
16. Murder in the Red Barn (Garage Tape)
17. Time


Check out more Pascal Fricke at his website and oft-updated YouTube channel.

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