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Away, we're bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri...
January 8, 2013 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Tom Waits and Keith Richards record the classic shanty "Shenandoah". From Son of Rogue's Gallery, a new compilation of pirate "ballads, sea songs and chanteys," itself a sequel to the 2006 release Rogue's Gallery (mentioned previously).
posted by Shepherd (43 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gee I hope nobody puts this up on an mp3 blog soon so I can has. That would be awful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:32 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone, born in Kansas City on the banks of the wide Missouri I might add, who plays this song and loves it a lot...

This makes me cringe. I have quite a bit different stylistic take on it I guess.
posted by Windopaene at 8:33 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved the 1st album so much. Haven't had a chance to listen to this track yet but judging by the artist list so far will be getting the second.
posted by ShawnString at 8:35 AM on January 8, 2013


A new Tom Waits song and a new David Bowie song in the same day? How awesome is that?
posted by zzazazz at 8:43 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Prepare to be amazed at the full cast & crew of the album: Son of Rogue's Gallery's full track list.
posted by prolific at 8:53 AM on January 8, 2013


Far be it from me to disparage the Waitsmeister, but for those who like a more classical rendition: Percy Grainger for the absolute win, with David Wilson-Johnson on solos and an uncredited Peter Pears showing off on the top tenor line.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:55 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Tom Waits' recording career continues much longer, I think his voice is going to get so low and grumbly that it will only be audible to whales and elephants, and may possibly summon monsterous underground deathworms.

(but yeah, put me in the column that liked this)
posted by drlith at 8:55 AM on January 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


This project reminds me of Neil Young's Americana album, and I am entirely in favor of all of this.
posted by knile at 8:56 AM on January 8, 2013


Prepare to be amazed at the full cast & crew of the album

HOLY SHIT THEY RESURRECTED FRANK ZAPPA
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:59 AM on January 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tom Waits is a one-man drunken bar choir. He doesn't need the off-sync multitracking, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
posted by Spatch at 9:02 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shenandoah always makes me smile, it was my Grandfather's favourite song, and is currently sung (drunkenly) by my family at all major gatherings.
posted by devonia at 9:04 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sissy Bounce... Akron/Family style.
posted by Morvran Avagddu at 9:08 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


DR. JOHN!!!!!

I'm also very curious who this "Jack Shit" is who collaborates with a couple of the artists thereon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:11 AM on January 8, 2013


Rogue's Gallery isn't bad, but aside from a few outstanding examples, the versions recorded on things like the Smithsonian Folkways collections are superior.

Example 1

Example 2


This, however, gave me chills.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:19 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Jack Shit" also played on the first compilation back in 2006. It was my theory back then that it was Johnny Depp and friends, but the artist I work for who has songs on both these compilations says it's just a couple of Hal Willners 'go to' musicians from New York. I'll try to find out more.
posted by prolific at 9:19 AM on January 8, 2013


Yeah, when the first Rogues Gallery was travelling around my college folk group, the story was that Jack Shit was Johnny Depp, but nobody new how seriously to take that...
posted by heyforfour at 9:25 AM on January 8, 2013


My fav track on the 1st album, the one that said BUY ME, was "The Good Ship Venus".

Never a dirtier song have I heard.
posted by ShawnString at 9:25 AM on January 8, 2013


prolific, is this the same "Jack Shit" you're referring to? Excellent disc BTW.
posted by marxchivist at 9:26 AM on January 8, 2013


Also pleased to see Keith Richards on this...

There's actually a clip I've seen from "on set" for the third POTC movie (I'm at work and won't be able to search for it until later) when they're getting ready to shoot the scene Keith cameos in; one of the members of the prop crew is an amateur luthier, and he's made this beautiful period-looking guitar for Keith to use in the scene, and while they're setting up the shot he presents Keith with it. And after looking it over a few seconds, Keith launches into this lovely, acoustic rendition of Spanish Ladies while the prop guy, Gore Verbinsky and Johnny Depp all stand around looking awestruck.

And that is why that's what Keith plays in the film in that scene - because after that everyone said "yes, we need to have you play that during the film too because DAMN".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Warren Ellis is singing or speaking on "Pirate Jenny"...
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:31 AM on January 8, 2013


Prepare to be amazed at the full cast & crew of the album: Son of Rogue's Gallery's full track list.

I swear, if they pronounce "Rio Grande" with Spanish pronunciation instead of saying Rye-O Grand, I will write a very strongly worded letter to both Courtney Love and Michael Stipe about having respect for the source material.
posted by Copronymus at 9:33 AM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Help! Run! It's a whole army of Tom Waitses!

(Waitces? Waitsen? Toms Waits?)
posted by and so but then, we at 9:34 AM on January 8, 2013


Just asked about Jack Shit and again am told it's the Rogue's Gallery house band. Which means it could be anyone from this list of people: Doug Weiselman, Thomas Bartlett, Steven Bernstein, Knox Chandler, Bill Frisell, Hank Roberts, Erik Sanko, etc, etc. They're musicians Hal Willner uses a lot.
posted by prolific at 9:35 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great. Every time something like this happens, I get all inspired, dig my accordion out of the attic, and a make lot of noise for about thirty minutes, which is how long it takes to remember that I'm a terrible accordionist.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:37 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


My previous comment notwithstanding, there are some excellent numbers on the first album:

John C. Reilly (!)

Martin Carthy & Family

And, because sea shanties, here are some other favorite maritime songs:

Alabama

Rio Grande

Blood Red Roses

Also "Bold Benjamin", but I can't find either The Young Tradition or Alasdair Rober's versions.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, hot damn. I totally never noticed that "Shenandoa" was put together like a slightly lopsided chantey. I'm used to hearing it all mellow and wistful, not much rhythmic emphasis and half the time not even any call and response.

This version doesn't really make it sound like a work song either, but now I'm having fun imagining it sung that way.
posted by and so but then, we at 9:53 AM on January 8, 2013


They took the first compilation album on the road (programme, pdf) as well. Amazing shows in New York, Sydney, London, Dublin. Here's some pictures I took in Dublin and in London.
posted by prolific at 9:55 AM on January 8, 2013


I sing this song every night to my children as they fall asleep. Though I too go for a more traditional rendering. One of my favorite American folk songs.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2013


prolific, can you find out what's the bias against Jake and the Neverland Pirates on these albums? I mean, beyond it being a kid's show with not even an attempt at historical accuracy.

Because I have a two year old who would be on those tracks like a scurvy dog on the Spanish Main.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:10 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice; thanks for this post. I like this version, and I like Bruce Springsteen's more "mellow and wistful" version (SLYT). One of the few good memories of catholic grade school (think mid to late sixties), for me, was a 3rd grade teacher (Miss O'Keefe?) who taught us - and let us sing - folk songs like this (and the Erie Canal, etc.).
posted by j810c at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2013




This is not at all relevant, but Trampled by Turtles do a great live version of this song (and studio as well), and you should listen to them and buy all their albums because of reasons which will prove self-explanatory if you also watch the video for Wait So Long.

"I'll take her across the open water..."
posted by radicalawyer at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2013


Mad_Carew: I'm going to guess that he's playing the violin.

also, I can highly recommend tracking down some Dirty Three.
posted by irrelephant at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2013


Oh Shenandoah is me
posted by ohshenandoah at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2013


EmpressCallipygos: Would this be the clip?

i can't check from work either youtube is totally blocked i hate my job
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on January 8, 2013


Oh wait-

Admiral Cole (a.k.a. Bold Benjamin)

also

Santy Anno
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:57 AM on January 8, 2013


This version doesn't really make it sound like a work song either, but now I'm having fun imagining it sung that way.

It's actually a capstan chantey. It's for long slow marches around a very large capstan.So it's usually sung as a slow shuffle, this one particularly being good for coming at the end of an already-long anchor pull when no one has a lot of steam left, though this is just a leetle too slow to actually push a capstan to. You'd lose any momentum you got going. It's OK for a big windlass too.

I really like Rogue's Gallery; it's good and I'm glad there's a v2. But it's something different from the actual tradition - these are interpretations and some of them wander pretty far from the contextual music. Also, not all of these are chanteys. A lot of people lump in all sea music under the term "chantey," but chantey specifically means a work song. Many of the songs on both collections are "foc's'le" songs or "forebitters" or pub songs, sung for entertainment during leisure time.
posted by Miko at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks for this post, and to everyone who commented with links. I'd heard the new Tom Waits/Keith Richards song this morning, but was unaware of the Rogue's Galllery series. Listening now to John C. Reilly singing like an Irish seafarer. Who knew? Apparently you all did. Day = made.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2013


They took the first compilation album on the road (programme, pdf) as well. Amazing shows in New York, Sydney, London, Dublin. Here's some pictures I took in Dublin and in London.

The Sydney show was a bit of a trainwreck (shipwreck?), starting from it raining during an outdoor concert and going from there. Many people hated it - I had an okay time, but I didn't pay to get in. The only performance I can really remember is MP Peter Garret doing a Pogusey take on 'Botany Bay'. The rest seemed a bit arid and bloodless, and could have benefited from more of that folk-punk spirit.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:42 PM on January 8, 2013


I remember the original album and how it was some my first exposure to these songs. Which led me to researching the more traditional forms. Personally, I like the old style much better.

If anyone is interested there is a really good collection of these on youtube posted by LorDrakoArakis
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:20 PM on January 8, 2013


Yeah, Sydney wasn't that great, Charlemagne, I'd forgot about that. I wasn't there, but heard enough about it. The cast was better over on this side of the planet. The ones I was at were great rowdy, rousing occasions.
posted by prolific at 3:14 PM on January 8, 2013


And now that I'm home from work:

yes, this clip is the one with Keith Richards getting a new guitar and playing "Spanish Ladies." Plus some great little Keith Richards bloopers.

Also: Tom Waits' voice makes total sense for sea shanties, and I'm also thinking he'd make a great bad guy in the next POTC movie. Or at least have a cameo where he sings Singapore.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:39 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why yes, Mad_Carew and I will be getting this, and I need to listen to all the comment links.
posted by immlass at 11:15 PM on January 8, 2013


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