ST JAMES HALL i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
Tom Russell is an American singer-songwriter who was born in Los Angeles. He has lived in many places, including Vancouver and New York City, and is currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His music incorporates elements of folk, traditional country & western, border and cowboy music of the American West. Russell's songs have been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Ian Tyson, Nanci Griffith, Dave Alvin and others. In addition to his music, he is also an artist and published author.
In the 1980s Russell made four albums credited to the Tom Russell Band. These featured guitarist Andrew Hardin and accordionist Fats Kaplin.
In the 1990s Russell made a number of solo albums, collaborated with blues singer Barrence Whitfield on two albums, and also recorded an acoustic album mixing original material with his favorite cowboy-themed songs. His albums include several guest appearances from other folk, country, and Americana artists, such as Chris Gaffney and Dave Alvin. His song Outbound Plane, co-written with Nanci Griffith, became a top-ten country hit for Suzy Bogguss. However, his most significant album of the 1990s was the innovative 1999 folk opera, The Man From God Knows Where.
Drawing on the music of Norway and Ireland in addition to American folk and country, The Man From God Knows Where is a song cycle tracing the journeys of Russell's ancestors from Europe to America, and the struggles they encountered. Recorded in Norway near the spot where his great-grandfather was born in 1847, the album features singers Iris DeMent, Dolores Keane, Dave Van Ronk, portraying (and telling the stories of) Russell's various ancestors. The album's title came from the epitaph of a different 'Tom Russell', an Irish activist executed in 1803.
Russell's albums in the 21st century have been heavily influenced by the art, culture, history, and folklore of the American Southwest. Albums such as Borderland resonate with a strong and authentic Tex-Mex influence, reflecting life on both sides of the border. His songs Tonight We Ride and Navajo Rug (co-written with Ian Tyson) were chosen by members of the Western Writers of America as two of the top 100 Western songs of all time.
In April 2015 Russell released The Rose of Roscrae, a double-album on Frontera Records, a Western folk opera that completes the trilogy begun with The Man From God Knows Where and Hotwalker. The double album depicts the journey of an Irishman named Johnny Dutton who sails to America to become a cowboy. There are 52 tracks interspersed with historic and contemporary voices that include: Johnny Cash, Walt Whitman, John Trudell, Lead Belly, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tex Ritter, Eliza Gilkyson, Augie Meyers, Maura O'Connell, Jimmy LaFave, David Olney, and others, as well as an overture by Mats Halling and The Norwegian Wind Ensemble. The Rose of Roscrae was hailed as the top folk album of 2015 in many publications, including The Irish Times, Mojo Magazine, Uncut Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times.
Tom Russell released Folk Hotel in September 2017. It showcases 13 new Russell originals plus, as one of two bonus tracks, Bob Dylan's Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, a duet with Joe Ely, featuring Joel Guzman on Tex-Mex accordion. Augie Meyers and Eliza Gilkyson also make guest appearances on the album. A signature Tom Russell collection, the wide-ranging subject matter on Folk Hotel includes songs and stories about New York’s Chelsea Hotel, a journey up the road from El Paso to Santa Fe, a cowboy song about Ian Tyson refusing to "leave his old horses", a song for Dylan Thomas - melting into a James Joycean landscape about day in the life of Belfast, a song about Tom meeting J.F.K., another song using only 16th century slang and more ....
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Please note that the admission price for this concert includes a $2 Venue Improvement Fee that we are required by the St. James Square to collect from every patron. Starting in September 2016, the proceeds from this temporary fee will be used for construction projects such as ventilation, flooring and washrooms that will make the hall a nicer place for you to visit in the future. If you wish, you can make a secure donation by clicking on the big blue button at the bottom of the page at www.sjcommunitysquare.org. For information on donating by phone or post, please contact the St. James Square office at 604-739-9373.