Tom Waits is certainly among the most unique of singer-songwriters. His voice is one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices I’ve heard. While not technically “good” by any means, I’d say his voice carries his music very well. He may not be a great vocalist, but he’s an amazing singer of songs. His voice flows with raw emotion.
In his music he incorporates rock, blues, jazz, experimental, vaudeville along with various other traditional styles and even some pretty experimental techniques. The result is music that sounds like nothing else, which is an art in itself. That can’t carry the music by itself, it’s also got to be enjoyable to listen to. And although Waits can be an acquired taste, I assure you that it’s a taste worth acquiring.
Perhaps one of the most prolific blues performers of all time, Big Bill Broonzy (Lee Conley Bradley) began his career in the 1920s playing country blues. Broonzy draws influence from the many styles of music he heard growing up in the rural south. The folk musics, spirituals and blues that he heard locally.
Moving to Chicago, Broonzy’s sound became tougher. This paved the way for later “Chicago Blues” artists such as Muddy Waters. There is no denying Big Bill Broonzy’s importance in the world of music. One of my favourite Broonzy tunes is “Key to the Highway”. It’s a wonderful “8-Bar Blues” and has been covered many times by many artists.
This recording of “Key to the Highway” Is also available on a compilation entitled “The Big Bill Broonzy Story”.