The San Diego-based Pacific Records label will release a remastered version of Southside Johnny’s 2008 album with LaBamba’s Big Band, Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits, March 12. And it will have a very cool bonus track: “Straight to the Top.”
The song, originally from Waits’ 1987 album Franks Wild Years, was not included in any form on Grapefruit Moon. This previously unreleased version is from a concert celebrating the album’s release at the Nokia Theatre in New York in October 2008. The song is arranged as a fun, swinging duet featuring Southside and Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, with LaBamba’s “smooth, jazzy phrasing contrasting with Southside’s gruffer, bluesier approach,” as I wrote in my original Star-Ledger review of the concert.
The album features a duet with Waits himself on “Walk Away” (listen below); other tracks include “New Coat of Paint,” “Temptation,” “Johnsburg, Illinois” and “Down, Down, Down.” It will be re-released digitally on March 12, with CD and vinyl versions to follow on a date or dates to be announced.
“The idea of doing a big band version of Tom Waits’ songs and having the arrangements done by Richard Labamba Rosenberg seemed like a natural to me,” said Southside in a press release.
“It was a long process, but I am so proud of the results. It’s one of the most satisfying records I have ever made. To this day, I can’t believe we actually got it done and that it turned out so well. This record makes me very happy. I hope it’ll make you happy, too.”
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