Sunday, May 25, 2008

SSJ distribution deal

I've mentioned Southside Johnny's Big Band/Tom Waits project a few times before. Now it seems SSJ has almost clinched a deal with a distribution company. 'The release date should be sometime in September', he says on his site. And there will also be a few live shows for promotion. 'More details will be forthcoming'.

2 comments:

umeboshi said...

Finally! been looking forward to hearing this one...

west said...

'See tracklist at bottom of release:

SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & LA BAMBA’S BIG BAND
TO RELEASE
GRAPEFRUIT MOON: THE SONGS OF TOM WAITS
September 2008 Album Includes Rare Duet With Tom Waits

Southside Johnny, one of the key musicians who helped shape the Jersey Shore sound, is set to release Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits (September 2nd, 2008 / Leroy Records) – a sonic tribute to Waits, his favorite songwriter and an old friend. The record re-imagines twelve of Waits’ gritty songs with a vibrant, lush, big band backdrop, courtesy of La Bamba’s Big Band (Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg of The Max Weinberg 7; house band on Late Night with Conan O’Brien) with Waits himself making a rare appearance on the song “Walk Away and Start Over Again.”

Both Southside Johnny and Tom Waits share distinctive gravelly vocals and a passion for American-themed storytelling, making Grapefruit Moon a fascinating collection of Waits compositions. After hearing the album and giving Southside his blessing, Tom Waits commented, “Wow…knock our socks off…you took those simple little tunes and put them in sequined sharkskin.”

Southside is no stranger to infusing Waits songs with his trademark horn driven rock sound – in 1984 he and his infamous blues, soul and rock n’ roll band The Asbury Jukes covered “New Coat of Paint” on In the Heat. While Southside’s old version featured five horns, listeners can expect a much bigger sound from the covers on Grapefruit Moon courtesy of Jukes band member Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg who orchestrated the arrangements specifically for his 18-piece horn packed Big Band. Having thought up the idea for this album 10-years ago, Grapefruit Moon represents a labor of love for Southside. He and La Bamba had been intermittently at work on the album for over three years.

“I have been an envious admirer of Tom's songwriting ability from his earliest albums – and have decided to beautify myself with his feathers,” says Southside. “He graciously allowed me that opportunity, and even deigned to sing what may laughingly be called harmony on one song. Our two voices together may be illegal in some states, but the deed is done, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Grapefruit Moon marries the brassy, ballsy sound of big band to Tom Waits’ cinematic, character-driven songs, creating a vibe that evokes the street-smart, houserockin’ swagger that made Southside Johnny and his band the Asbury Jukes legendary (their 1982 record Hearts of Stone was named one of the “top 100 albums of the 70s and 80s” by Rolling Stone). “Yesterday is Here” opens with a smoky piano-flute-vocal intro and builds to a smolder, ready for the swingin’ inferno of “Down, Down, Down.” Waits not only gave Southside his blessing for the album – he lends his vocals to “Walk Away And Start Over Again,” a song in which he and Southside do what they do best: lay bare the souls of ordinary people with all their problems and dreams, but with an insouciance that brings a rueful laugh. The styles of music explored on the album range from blues to New Orleans strut to swing and even a romantic brass choir on “Johnsburg, Illionois.”



Track Listing for Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits:

1. Yesterday Is Here
2. Down, Down, Down
3. Walk Away and Start Over Again (Featuring Tom Waits)
4. Please Call Me, Baby
5. Grapefruit Moon
6. All the Time in the World
7. Tango ‘Til They’re Sore
8. Johnsburg, Illinois
9. A New Coat of Paint
10. Shiver Me Timbers
11. Dead and Lovely
12. Temptation