|October in the Railroad Earth
Tom Russell’s latest recording of original compositions, October in the Railroad Earth, is set for CD and vinyl release March 15, 2019, on Frontera Records in North America and Proper Records for the rest of the world. He describes the songs and sound as “Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash in Bakersfield.”
Bill Kirchen is featured on lead electric guitar, Eliza Gilkyson adds vocals, and the Grammy® Award-winning Texmaniacs appear on “Isadore Gonzalez,” about a Mexican cowboy who died in England during a performance of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The record contains nine other originals, including the title song from the Irish film Small Engine Repair, and a cover of the traditional “Wreck of the Old 97.”
October in the Railroad Earth follows the acclaimed 2017 Frontera/Proper album Folk Hotel and Russell’s tribute to Ian & Sylvia on True North Records, Play One More, both receiving worldwide acclaim. Between major releases in 2018, Russell recorded the Bruce Springsteen track “Across The Border” for the three-disc Appleseed Records anniversary sampler, Roots and Branches, and issued a re-recording of early classics on Frontera, Old Songs Yet To Sing.
Russell’s previous album of new original material was the 2015 “folk opera” that Thom Jurek of allmusic.com hailed as Tom’s masterpiece, The Rose of Roscrae. Named “The top folk album of 2015” by Mojo magazine, Roscrae was also lauded as “maybe the most important Americana record of all time” by UK Folk. The album was included in top ten lists of dozens of publications, including the Los Angeles Times.
In 2007, on one of Russell’s five appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, he debuted the controversial “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?” which has since gone viral.
Tom Russell’s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, k.d. lang, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Dave Van Ronk, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Joe Ely, Tom Paxton, Ian Tyson, and Joe Ely, among many others.
Tom Russell graduated from the University of California with a Master’s degree in Criminology and taught Sociology in Nigeria during the Biafran War.
|Summer Dispatches from The Frontier: Tom Russell Newsletter
of the guitar begins
Wine glasses shatter
In the dead of night
Federico Garcia Lorca
Augie Meyers stopped by the hacienda the other day. He sat down at the antique brown grand piano and pounded out Mexican whorehouse/classical movie music and Marty Robbins songs. We went to Rosas's Cantina. Hallowed ground. Augie has a new honytonk record out called "Country." Available from El Sendero Records, Box 34404, San Antonio, Tx, 78265, or via email@example.com check his new "Facebook." http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Augie-Meyers/225542825157?ref=s
The blogs on the new songs from "Blood and Candle Smoke" (the record is out in September) keep pouring out of www.russelltom.blogspot.com We are now up to song number eight. Ken Bruen, the great crime novelist from Galway, has heard most of the songs and wrote:
.............................Tom Russell is the last great American voice. For decades, he has been writing/performing and enriching us with mini works of pure art that make the other so called realists seem TR-lite
With Blood and Candle Smoke he has produced his masterpiece
if Guadalupe doesn't make you want to weep, you're better off with Britney and other nonsense. Every song on this pure gold album is a rare and rarer treasure, Ken Bruen.
Check out Ken Bruen's website and great catalogue of novels. http://www.kenbruen.com/. Some made into movies. With that in mind, Monte Hellman (Two Lane Blacktop, The Shooting, Ride the Whirlwind) has asked me to write the theme song for his next movie: "Road to Nowhere." I might play a bit part as well. A guitar player.
The Rainbow Man art and folk art store on the square in Santa Fe, New Mexico, now has at least nine of my paintings, including: Criminology, Guadalupe, Snowin on Raton, Mexican Be Bop, Billie Hoilday, and Juarez Blues. Check in at www.rainbowman.com Many of the paintings can be seen here on www.tomrussell.com under the "art" section. Also check out Yard Dog Folk art in Austin. www.yarddog.com
Winston Watson, the man who played most of the drum parts on "Blood and Candle Smoke," has played with Bob Dylan (400 performances including "Unplugged" and Love and Theft.") He has a great new DVD out in the Bob Dylan Diaries series:Drummer Winston Watson's Incredible Journey. You can find it on Amazon.
*****The South Western Train keeps getting better! Thad Beckman, American folk-blues guitarist and maestro is now onboard and will help out Barry Walsh (keyboards: Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Gretchen Peters) with open mikes and the odd lesson. There might be some song workshops as well: you cannot wish for a more successful songwriter than Gretchen Peters. (Independence Day and a dozen other hits.) There are about 8 seats left on this incredible journey: phone toll free 866-484-3669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or check in at www.rootsontherails.com
All UK Dates in January are now posted on www.tomrussell.com and www.myspace.com/russelltom. Book your tickets for all dates now. Also two new songs are posted on the myspace….all American dates are also posted for the Blood tour. Please book your seats early and keep live music rolling along.
Just finished producing Adrian Brannan's second album at Wave Lab studio in Tucson…with the great Craig Schumacher. Adrian is 17 years old and a real strong talent. The record will feature six of her originals and six covers including Dylan's "Farewell Angelina."
Rumor has it that Peter O'Brien, longtime UK fan and publisher of Omaha Rainbow….has his first record out. Something about Junked Cars and Old Guitars…I've misplaced my copy but Peter is always up to something interesting….you'll find him on the train!
Ondale! Down the road…toward Italy. TR El paso, 7/10/09