|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.
|"One to the Heart, One to the Head," the collaboration between Gretchen Peters and Tom Russell is now available from www.villagerecords.com The record is a side project for Tom and Gretchen, and celebrates the west through the songs of: Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Ian Tyson, Rosalie Sorrels, Mary McCaslin and others…it includes Gretchen singing Tom's song: "Guadalupe." Filmmaker Eric Temple termed the record: "A masterpiece: not a bad song on the record."
Paul Zarzyski writes:
The title, One To The Heart, One To The Head, could suggest, among a plethora of metaphors, a duet of beautiful deadly blows. A double-shot of love or something other. A one-two punch. A brace of kisses. The virtue of mercy, twice-blessed. Any way you cut and call it, we're talking Gretchen Peters' and Tom Russell's soulful cowboy-music universe paralleling the musical universes of, say, Allison Krause and Robert Plant, or Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler. Beyond the prowess of the vocals, however, and beyond the virtuosity--especially the keyboard artistry of Barry Walsh flashing us back like glass-plate sepia tones of piano men sitting 16-hands-tall aboard opera house stages of the horseback 1800s--and beyond the top-shelf production work of the recording studio, shines Gretchen Peters' genuine love for the emotional landscape, solace to chaos, of our contemporary West and the songs that keep it honest.
The cover art for the record is available at www.rainbowman.com in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Elko Cowboy Poetry gathering is looming next week: Tom and Eric Temple will preview an excerpt from their film "California Bloodlines." After that: Tom will be in Texas performing in Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and San Antonio….see dates at www.myspace.com/russelltom
See you on down that road………