Orphans, 2006

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a spectacular musical journey, which visits most every genre of American song tradition. The diverse 56-song, 3-disc collection captures the full scope of Tom Waits' shamanic powers as a vocalist, literary lyricist, romantic melodist, innovative arranger and pioneer of sonic worlds. The set, which took over three years to compile and record, is grouped by genre with songs guaranteed to move and shake the heart, the body, the mind and most unquestionably the soul. Each of the CDs are separately arranged and sub-titled - "Brawlers," "Bawlers" and "Bastards" to encapsulate the full range of Waits' nomadic scope of musical styles. "Orphans contains songs for all occasions. Some of the songs were written in turmoil and recorded at night in a moving car, others were written in hotel rooms and recorded in Hollywood during big conflamas (when conflict weds drama). At any rate these are the ones that survived the flood and were rescued from the branches of trees after the water's retreat. "Gathering all this material together was like rounding up chickens at the beach. It's not like you go into vault and check out what you need. Most of it was lost or buried under the house. Some of the tapes I had to pay ransom for to a plumber in Russia. You fall into the vat. We started to write just to climb out of the vat. Then you start listening and sorting and start writing in response to what you hear. And more recording. And then you get bit by a spider, go down the gopher hole, and make a whole different record. That was the process pretty much the last three years." -Tom Waits, August 2006