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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Robo Lyr Add: The Sky Above, the Mud Below (Tom Russell (8) RE: BS: Justice and Revenge 19 Apr 00

I'm with you, Clifton! My brother has summed up my thoughts on Tom Russell quite well indeed -- and why not, I turned him on to the stuff! Cliff has also told me he hasn't been as excited about a song man since John Prine debuted, and like many of us, he worships at the Prine Shrine, so that's saying something.

There are many other Russell tunes that have this kind of impact -- and the entire "Man from God Knows Where" album qualifies to prima facie evidence. The imagery is marvelous and for him to sustain it over, what, 26 or so songs borders on the incredible. Another Russell song that appears on more than one of his albums stands out, too -- the some-would-say ubiquitous "Gallo del Cielo," the Rooster from Heaven! Russell can plant a one-liner in your mind like a Clark or a Prine, that's for sure, but these extended stories and images, which play like films as has been said, seem to me to be what the craft is truly all about. And you might think they wouldn't hold up to repeated listenings, but they do. Of course, having Andrew Hardin's accompaniement would do wonders for anyone. Listen to his solo work on "Angel of Lyon" for a demo. If you aren't drop-jawed and smiling and anxious for the second lead, you're having a bad day, indeed. I could go on and one . . . Let me close by saying I used to think there was little reason to ever return to El Paso. Thanks to Russell, I've thunk again.

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