Archive for March, 2018

Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl”

Tom Waits came from an ordinary middle-class Celtic-Norwegian family and, in spite of his personal demons, became one of the most significant artists of my generation. Two of his albums have won Grammys and he is a member of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, in spite of limited radio and video support due to the abrasive nature of his music and lyrics. Musically, he borrows from blues, jazz, vaudeville and even industrial music. Lyrically, Waits is a disciple of Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation and Dylan. His voice, described by one critic as “soaked in bourbon and left hanging in the smokehouse”, is a miraculous reincarnation of Howlin’ Wolf, with a touch of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins for good measure.


Waits’ songs are often associated with other, more successful artists like The Eagles (Ol’ ’55), Rod Stewart (Downtown Train), Bruce Springsteen (who embraces the New York/New Jersey rivalry in his version of “Jersey Girl”) and Sarah Jarosz (Come On Up To The House).

“Jersey Girl” is a beautifully evocative soundscape of a carnival by the shore with the moon reflecting on the water and the spending of time with a loved one. The song, one of Waits’ most romantic compositions, was written for his future wife, Kathleen Brennan. They met on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie “One From the Heart” where she was working as a script supervisor and Waits was compiling the soundtrack music, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Waits also worked with Coppola on “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, where he gave the definitive performance of Renfield.

Richard and Roch

Richard Séguin – voice, electric guitars
Alrick Huebener – upright bass
Roch Tassé – drums

Jersey Girl

Photo of Alrick by Kate Morgan

posted by R.A.Seguin in Non classé and have No Comments