Premieres \

Tom Waits and Keith Richards Unveil Swashbuckling ‘Shenandoah’ Cover

Pirate-themed Johny Depp comp lands on February 19

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // January 9, 2013

This isn’t Tom Waits and Keith Richards’ first time on the high seas together. The Rolling Stones co-founder has played guitar on three of Waits’ albums, most recently 2011’s Bad as Me. So when the two cross swords on Johnny Depp’s Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys, due out February 19 via ANTI-, it’s more than a nautically themed curio. In fact, the two treat folk staple “Shenandoah” — which Bruce Springsteen also covered on his 2006 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions — with reverence befitting its long history. Sure, Waits doesn’t skimp on his gravelly growl, but Richards hardly transforms his pirate’s bandana into music here, instead offering a tender backing vocal and mournfully evocative guitar leads. Real pirates don’t have to say “arrrr.”

Listen over at NPR.