By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 25, 2006 at 5:12 PM
Not long ago – four years to be exact -- Tom Waits released two albums at once, which, while not a unique feat, was definitely a testament to his creative bursts.

Now, America’s tin pan alley grumbler supreme and one of the best songwriters of his day, returns with a 30 new songs in a three-CD package. (And he released another record in between, 2004’s “Real Gone," for an average of more than one disc per year since 2002!)

“Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (Anti-/Epitaph)” collects two and a half dozen new tunes alongside another two dozen rare and/or unreleased tracks spread over a trio of themed discs.

While he was a distinctive voice in the ‘70s, Waits really proved to be one of America’s most unique and engaging voices with a string of records in the 1980s, including “Rain Dogs,” “Frank’s Wild Years” and “Swordfishtrombones.”

Since then, Waits has barely missed a step and amazingly manages to keep his creative streak alive on a set that could have gone belly up, since there’s so much room for error on a three-disc set.

Folky, bluesy, murder ballady, waltzy and, dare I say, cabaret-ish, “Orphans” is experimental yet lyrical, tender and twisted. How he’ll top this is anyone’s guess.
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.