The first time I heard Tom Waits was in the car on a trip to California in college. Some friends and I had driven there from North Dakota and we were taking turns driving so that we could drive straight back without stopping.
I was drifting in and out of sleep in the middle of the night in the mountains of Utah when my friend put the album “Closing Time” on. It was a big contrast to what we had been listening to; things like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Led Zeppelin. I’m not normally one to jump at new things, and this was one of the rare pieces of music that I immediately fell in love with.
Later on, my cousin Katie and I discovered that we both liked different music by Tom Waits and she introduced me to the song “Innocent When You Dream”. This song is from the album “Frank’s Wild Years”, which came after Tom Waits shifted direction musically and gravitated towards more rough and raw sounds than in the early records like “Closing Time”.
It’s a beautiful song and I felt compelled to record a version of it because it’s a fun song to play and sing. Check out the original version if you don’t already know it and you’ll hear that my singing style is just a little different than his.