Home / The Friday Morning Listen: Southside Johnny with LaBamba’s Big Band – Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits

The Friday Morning Listen: Southside Johnny with LaBamba’s Big Band – Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits

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Okay, what have you done with my summer? C'mon, fess up! I haven't seen it in a couple of months and I'm certain that I didn't misplace it. Sure, there are a lot of piles of stuff around here (books, CDs, papers) but it seems highly unlikely that the summer can be lost underneath a little clutter. I looked behind the couch and found one of my orphaned socks and a few killer dust bunnies, but that was about it.

Ah, it's just as well. The normal order of things has been all out of whack around here anyway. I'm not just talking about that whole death of a parent thing. Yeah, that sure wasn't normal, and I'm in no way completely recovered from the experience (if such a thing can actually happen). It's the chain of events after that that has been out of the ordinary. Most simply, there's the weather. It has been so cool that I never even bothered to put the air conditioner in the bedroom window. Very strange. Then there's the lack of vacation. We just couldn't take one. For many reasons, it just didn't seem right to go anywhere, so we didn't (long weekends don't really count).

To top things off, we didn't get to see Southside Johnny this summer. His tour schedule brought him through the area at a time when we just weren't in the proper frame of mind. Maybe that was a mistake. I'm not sure about that. What I do know is that it just doesn't feel like summer has been properly closed out without that big blast of New Jersey soul. We all have our habits, and a Southside show is one of mine. When I was younger, the final chords of "Having A Party" signaled the end of the season. Now, it's "Hearts Of Stone."

So I'm still waiting. It feels like summer has yet to begin… or that it's already ended and somehow I didn't notice.

There is one fabulous gem to be found in all of this. A while back, Southside Johnny and Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg teamed up to create a collection of Tom Waits songs brought to a different life by LaBamba's big band. The results are just fabulous. Grapefruit Moon was obviously a labor of love for these guys and the attention to detail shines through. This release has been talked about in the Southside fanbase for years, and now it's finally a reality. (Pssst! The official release date is this coming Tuesday, though you can order it through Southside's website).

For my ears, this record has come along exactly at the right time, and almost makes me forget that somebody swiped my summer.

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About Mark Saleski

  • I’d pay at least a quarter to hear that!

  • YOU singing Tom Waits would be 100% better than Scarlett’s album.

  • I’m betting this is at least 100% better than Scarlett’s album of Waits covers.