Tom Russell: Cowboy Poet Singer Artist
“The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell.” —John Swenson, “Rolling Stone”
“In 1995 I said that Tom Russell was the finest singer-songwriter working in America today. 25 years later he’s going strong.” —Alec Wightman, former President,“ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”
This February, the phenomenally talented Tom Russell will take his audiences back to the authentic American West, singing many of his hit folk and cowboy songs, and telling stories of Americana. Russell will perform February 8th at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale, and February 9th at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta (CFAK) in Ivins. Russell is a prolific singer, songwriter, essayist, and author. His music remains relevant and exciting, earning him new fans from every generation.
Music legends such as Johnny Cash, k.d. lang, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt have recorded Tom Russell’s songs. Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan have called his fabled “Gallo del Cielo” one of their favorites. In all, Russell has recorded 35 records and published six books, which include his art, his songs, and his essays on the West.
This March, Russell’s record, “October in the Railroad Earth” will be released. (Distributed by Frontera Records in North America and Proper Records for the rest of the world). It features original songs, including the title song from the Irish film “Small Engine Repair.” Russell describes the album’s vibe as “Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash…in Bakersfield.”
In 2018, he appeared on the three-record “Roots and Branches” album put out by Appleseed Records. Russell appears alongside a new track by Bruce Springsteen, as well as tracks by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Donovan, Tom Morello, Jesse Winchester, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt.
In 2017, Russell released two records: “Folk Hotel,” with twelve new songs (via Frontera Records and Proper Records). He also released the Ian and Sylvia tribute “Play One More” (via True North Records North America, Proper Records in Europe). Both records have received worldwide acclaim.
Russell wrote an essay on Johnny Cash, which earned him the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. It is included in his book of essays: Ceremonies of the Horsemen, which currently has a five-star rating on Amazon.
Russell’s education and world travels have informed his writing and music. He earned a master’s degree in Criminology from UC Santa Barbara. He also taught Sociology in Nigeria during The Biafran War. His ensuing ventures into music, writing, and art have met with huge success among many audiences. Several major American museums own Russell’s art and his work is represented by six galleries around the world.
Russell’s performances and outreach are underwritten by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Western States Arts Federation. Kayenta and Z-Arts are grateful for all the support in bringing such an amazing talent to southern Utah.
Z-Arts will host the Tom Russell performance on Friday, February 8th, 2019, at 7:00 pm in the Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Boulevard in Springdale. Get tickets and additional information at www.zarts.org.