Corinne Bailey Rae Covers Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl”

Photo by Alexandra Valenti

November 22 will see the release of Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, a Tom Waits covers album featuring contributions by Iris DeMent, Aimee Mann, Patty Griffin and many others. Ahead of the compilation’s release, Corinne Bailey Rae has shared her reimagining of Waits’ “Jersey Girl.”

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“Jersey Girl” appeared on Waits’ 1980 album Heartattack And Vine, his seventh studio album. Rae imbues the track — which she says “pours out like conversation” when she performs it live — with a sweet warmth, her nimble vocals accented by a gently swelling arrangement that hews faithfully to the original recording.

“‘Jersey Girl’ is such a tender song, a rejection of cynicism for simple love that has Tom Waits singing a wordless ‘sha la la’ for the first time,” Rae says. “I love how Waits captures the rush of first love, the anticipation of seeing the lover, the inability to sleep at night, the phases of separation and reunion. And, a carnival is such a beautiful setting for exploring the excitement of early love — the ride, the dizzy feeling, the thrill of finding ‘the one’ in a crowd of many.”

Lifelong Tom Waits fan Warren Zanes produced the compilation and wrote extensive accompanying liner notes for the project. The album will release mere weeks before Waits’ 70th birthday, December 7.

Rae’s most recent studio album is 2016’s The Heart Speaks In Whispers. She first came to prominence with her hit song “Put Your Records On,” which appeared on her 2006 debut album Corinne Bailey Rae.

Listen to “Jersey Girl” and see the full Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits tracklist below.

Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits tracklist:

“Come On Up To The House” – Joseph
“Hold On” – Aimee Mann
“Georgia Lee” – Phoebe Bridgers
“Ol’ 55” – Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
“Take It With Me” – Angie McMahon
“Jersey Girl” – Corinne Bailey Rae
“Ruby’s Arms” – Patty Griffin
“Time” – Rosanne Cash
“You Can Never Hold Back Spring” – Kat Edmonson
“House Where Nobody Lives” – Iris Dement
“Downtown Train” – Courtney Marie Andrews
“Tom Traubert’s Blues” – The Wild Reeds

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