To say that singer-songwriter Tom Russell has led a colorful life is the quite the understatement. Sure, his songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, k.d. lang and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. And yes, he's released around 20 albums since he started playing Vancouver strip clubs in the early '70s. But Russell also worked as a taxi driver in Queens and a circus musician in Puerto Rico, not to mention the years he spent teaching school in late-'60s Nigeria--an experience that fuels "East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam," the opening track of his new album, Blood and Candle Smoke. Recorded at Tucson, Arizona's Wavelab Studio, the album sees Russell expanding his border-folk sound with the aide of members of Calexico, who provide able accompaniment to Russell's wordy tales of Africa, the Mississippi and the Great Southwest. Hear this master storyteller in person when Tom Russell plays McDavid Studio (301 E. 5th St. in Fort Worth; call 817-212-4280 or visit basshall.com) on Tuesday and the AllGood Café (2934 Main St.; call 214-742-5362 or visit allgoodcafe.com) on Wednesday.
Tue., Nov. 10, 2009