The Rogue Folk Club presents

Tom Russell





3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano

Accessible All ages

This event has already taken place.


Tom Russell returns to the Rogue after an absence of two years, bringing a new guitarist and a brilliant new CD, Blood & Candle Smoke. We reckon it's his best yet - and that's saying something, cos Tom has written and recorded more classic Americana songs than just about anyone else - indeed, he is credited with creating the genre (along with Dave Alvin on their tribute CD to Merle Haggard, Tulare Dust).

Tom Russell is the most original songwriter out there. Who else can bounce off of the beatitudes and the troubadors, e e cummings and Hemingway, Salinger and Tennessee Williams, Ken Kesey and Graham Greene, all with ease and humor? He packs an amazing mixture into this Great American Novel of an album: Woodstock and Vietnam, the "lie of Western history," Apache boys on a fatal bender, Cochise and Geronimo and shapeshifters, Mother Jones and black-lung miners, Santa Ana blows and Louisiana hurricanes, nearly every river in the forty-eight, down to the Brazos and the Wabash, and always the lure and danger of the border, the ambivalent magnet of Mexico. Above it all floats the incomprehensible fact and miracle of Guadalupe's grace from the titlesong's line: "Who am I to doubt these mysteries, cured in centuries of blood and candlesmoke." There is pain and death and treachery but there is also love, a love like Tom's never quite sung before, love as grace and miracle too, love to make you cry, in "Finding You." This album--story and poetry and music, at once epic and personal--comes from a bard in the truest sense of the word, from a musical storyteller with a unique and poignant voice. Ultimately I am reminded of none of those allusions listed above and think of Tom Russell as the musical equivalent of Cormac McCarthy. — Allen Josephs, University Research Professor, University of West Florida. Author of The White Wall of Spain, Ritual and Sacrifice in the Corrida