There aren’t a lot of cover bands around Asheville, so makes sense that one does form, it’s in tribute to an especially noteworthy artist. The Asheville Waits Band is that sort of enterprise, presenting what they call “an inebriated tribute to the great Tom Waits in all his strange brilliance.”
Tom Waits is a composer and occasionally an actor, but mostly he’s a singer-songwriter. His career dates back to the early ‘70s, which seems crazy because, even though he’s always been around, and he’s always been a grizzled old dude, he also never seems to age or to go out of style. He’s put out 16 studio album along with a number of soundtracks, compilations, live albums and box sets. In ‘11, Waits published a series of poems inspired by Michael O’Brien’s portraits of the homeless in his book, Hard Ground. Waits sold his poetry books to raise money for Redwood Empire Food Bank in Sonoma County, Calif., where he lives. The same year, he was indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His song, “Shenandoah,” recorded with Keith Richards, appears on the album, Son Of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys, due out Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Revel in everything Waits at the Tom Waits Tribute Night on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Westville Pub. The Asheville Waits Band plays at 9:30 p.m., $5 at the door.