Published Sep 20, 2013While American author Jack Kerouac is best known for his book On the Road, some notable musicians will be paying tribute to one of his lesser-known works with an album inspired by his 1960 novella Tristessa. Reimagine Music released Esperanza: Songs from Jack Kerouac's Tristessa earlier this week.
The album was spearheaded by Kerouac's nephew, producer Jim Sampras, who the Associated Press notes has previously helmed tributes to the Beatles' Rubber Soul, Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home and Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska.
The album features artists like Hey Rosetta!, Wintersleep, the Low Anthem, Matt Costa, Willy Mason, Marissa Nadler, William Fitzsimmons and more. Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers appear, but they read extracts from the book rather than play music.
Some of the musicians used the Kerouac's words in their lyrics, while others were inspired by the story, which tells of a relationship with a drug-addicted prostitute in Mexico City. Esperanza gets its title from the real name of the prostitute on which the book was based. Will Dailey's song "Broke My Calm" is streaming at the bottom of this page.
The album is available on iTunes. Additionally, William Fitzsimmons did an abridged reading of the book, which is available here.
Esperanza: Songs from Jack Kerouac's Tristessa:
1. William Fitzsimmons & Tim & Adam - "First Page of Kerouac's Tristessa"
2. Tim & Adam - "Billie Holiday Eyes"
3. Gregory Alan Isakov - "O' City Lights"
4. Peter Bradley Adams - "She Has to Come Down"
5. Alela Diane - "We Are Nothing"
6. Wintersleep - "Father Time"
7. Marissa Nadler - "Tristessa's Song"
8. Joshua James - "Esperanza (Spanish Version)"
9. Lee Ranaldo - "Middle Page of Kerouac's Tristessa"
10. Will Dailey - "Broke My Calm"
11. Hey Rosetta! - "Sad Animals"
12. Willy Mason - "I Have Known Love"
13. Matt Costa - "Shadows of Autumn"
14. The Low Anthem - "Numbers in Nirvana"
15. Neal McCarthy & Barbara Kessler - "Esperanza (English Version)"
16. Tony Dekker & Hanne Hukkelberg - "Last Page of Kerouac's Tristessa"