Born on December 7, 1949, Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. With a voice that has reminded more than one person as reminding one of a bourbon soaked smokehouse left in the gutter to die remnant of another time, Tom Waits has always struck me as more of a poet than a serious musician. Despite this, his trademark growl and incorporation of blues, jazz, vaudeville and experimental music has carved him out quite a niche of genuine merit.
Inspired by a curious blend of Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation, Waits started his musical career in the San Diego music scene. His first album Closing Time was released in 1973. He has also worked as composer for movies and musicals.
Waits’ lyrics are often grotesque portraits of seedy characters and places. That being said, he has had some of his songs covered by others such as Rod Stewart’s Downtown Train. Further, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
The eighth album of Waits career, Rain Dogs, this quirky bit of music deserves a nine out of 10 for having its own unique voice.
Rain Dogs by Tom Waits may be listened to in its entirety here: