Tom Russell



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Singer songwriter, painter, essayist – Tom Russell has recorded thirty five highly acclaimed records, and published five books. Tom Russell songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash,  Nanci Griffith, kd Lang, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Joe Ely, and a hundred others.

Tom graduated from The University of California with a Master’s Degree in Criminology. He was recently awarded the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism.  In 2015 Russell released a 52 track “folk opera” on the West, The Rose of Roscrae, which was deemed: maybe the most important Americana record of all time by UK Folk, the top Folk album of 2015 by Mojo Magazine, and hailed in top ten lists in two dozen publications including The Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on the David Letterman TV show five times.

His latest release is The Tom Russell Anthology 2 (Gunpowder Sunsets).

Recent Quotes

These songs on The Tom Russell Anthology 2: Gunpowder Sunsets leave me in anticipation of whatever might be coming next from the best songwriter of my generation.” – Mike Regenstreiff, Montreal Gazette, Sing Out

Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison and Charles Bukowski rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Poet)

Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination. “Blood and Candle Smoke” is vintage Russell, and the Graham Greene connection is a ‘beaut.” – Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain)

Tom Russell is the last great American voice.” – Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Cross)

How great is Tom Russell? Isn’t he the best? I’d like to quit my job and travel with him…if the money can be worked out…” – David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman

The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell…” – John Swenson, Rolling Stone

Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan…” – The Montreal Gazette

“The Rose of Roscrae” – Recent Reviews:

The album of the year goes to Tom Russell’s terrific The Rose of Roscrae…a great piece of work and a fine testament to a wonderfully talented singer songwriter.” – The #1 Album of the Year, The Irish Post, Joe Giltrap, Dec 2015.

Masterful songwriter Russell enlists the help of friends and peers such as Maura O’Connell and others over a staggering 52 tracks in an extraordinary piece of Americana with an expansive narrative and scope.” – Los Angeles Times Top Ten Albums, Dec. 2015, Randy Lewis

The Top Folk Album of 2015 (Dec 2015) – MOJO Magazine

It is an epic tale, a blend of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berthold Brecht, Cormac McCarthy and Louis L’Amour, thick with references to U.S. history, music and myth…the scope is majestic, the ambition outrageous and the music magnificent. A unique accomplishment” – Peter Watts, UNCUT

A bravely original epic.” – The Guardian, UK. 4/5 stars, April 2015

A game changer – it could just be the single most important Americana release of all time.” – Folk Radio, UK

A bold two-disc country-folk-rock opera about a young 19th-century Irish immigrant drawn to a new life as a cowboy in the west after a failed love affair. It’s a sprawling beast of an album and a remarkable piece of creativity.” – Best Country Music Albums of 2015: The Telegraph UK (4 stars)

The journey is Homeric…Real and fictional characters are hard-stitched into his seamless narrative…soulful and moving for its reach…Russell’s view of history may be romantic but it is also gritty as hell, and enduring. This is his masterpiece.” – Thom Jurek, All Music Guide, April 2015