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10 Reviews
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling that everyone can relate to
This is a beautiful album, an album that gets under your skin with music and with history. Cross folk, country and genealogy and this is where you end up - the music propels you back and forth in time, the lyrics make you wonder who you are, who your ancestors were, how they lived and died. Tom Russell is a hell of a story teller - just close your eyes and listen.
Published on 3 April 2006

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
This is a great idea for an album, but t o my ears it doesn't quite come off. There are some good tracks on it but a lot of weaker ones too, and I just cannot abide Iris DeMent's voice. Try "Borderland" or "Aztec Jazz" instead
Published 19 months ago by oldhasbeen


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling that everyone can relate to, 3 April 2006
By A Customer
This is a beautiful album, an album that gets under your skin with music and with history. Cross folk, country and genealogy and this is where you end up - the music propels you back and forth in time, the lyrics make you wonder who you are, who your ancestors were, how they lived and died. Tom Russell is a hell of a story teller - just close your eyes and listen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carrying the Folk Music art to a new level, 27 Oct. 1999
By A Customer
Tom Russell is a singer/songwriter on a par with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Nanci Griffith and Al Stewart yet his talent is so far recognised by only a faithful few. This record takes his art to a whole new level, being a song cycle based on his own family history and the story of his immigrant ancestors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best, 16 July 2013
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oldhasbeen (England) - See all my reviews
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This is a great idea for an album, but t o my ears it doesn't quite come off. There are some good tracks on it but a lot of weaker ones too, and I just cannot abide Iris DeMent's voice. Try "Borderland" or "Aztec Jazz" instead
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 Nov. 2011
This is one of those CD's that tells a story brilliantly. It is one to sit and listen to as the words and the story are so interesting. The recuring title song "The Man from god knows where" is very well used throughout.The best story album I've heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Abides, 10 May 2014
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Sorry, but I have to disagree with previous comments-'Love Abides' duet with Iris DeMent is quite magnificent and truly soars-perhaps even matches the solo brilliant version on Aztec Jazz. :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 18 April 2013
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Mr. T. H. Travers "tombed" (lisburn) - See all my reviews
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great album please research the story and the history behind it before you make judgement or buy it.... it's fantastic i have most of his stuff a great song writer.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from his best, 22 Nov. 2009
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Michael Nicholl (Derry. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This is an album I purchased on the strength of the title track 'The Man From God Knows Where'. If the entire album had been delivered by Tom Russell himself then I would easily have awarded it a 5 star rating (I cannot, being a fan bring myself to give Tom Russell any lower than a 3 star rating). However the efforts at singing by several of the guest artists on this album simply bring the entire package down. Just what is Iris deMent trying to do here. She provides us with a rendition of an already terrible song (The Old Rugged Cross) and fully succeeds in rendering it totally unlistenable. Others on this album are not that far behind Iris deMent in their awfulness. I really do believe Tom should have executed the entire album himself or at least restricted those contributing to it, to fulfilling a duetting role only, but I do appreciate what he was trying to achieve here. The entire concept was brilliant and the explaination as to how the entire process came to be named as it was, interesting, it is just that it fails to engage me simply due to the use of singers who are hard on the ear. Where Tom is delivering the songs all is well and I can listen to him singing these numbers over and over again. An earlier review of this album states that Tom Russell is up there with the song writing abilities of Dylan, and I really have to agree with that comparison even though I do regard Bob Dylan as the finest song writer and poet possibly of all time. I suppose however, like the great song writers of our day (Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, John Prine to name a few) Tom Russell is entitled to a substandard offering, which in this case is due to those collaborating with him. So should you avoid this album? I would have to say NO. The concept is great, Tom's song-writing is as good as always (Although there are a few covers here). If you are a fan this is essential listening, but if you wish to sample Tom Russell's genius, look elsewhere. He has a host of albums available all of which are stunning and quite simply head and shoulders over this one, although do be aware of Hot Walker which is another concept album and like The Man From God Knows can be a difficult listen.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, not sure..., 14 July 2011
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Mr. P. Robinson (UK) - See all my reviews
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I heard the track; The Outcast on an Andy Kershaw radio show YEARS ago and thought it was brilliant. I understand now (having purchased the cd recently) why Andy never played any other tracks from the CD. It's quite personal to Tom Russell and his voice really does nothing for me. The album overall is OK, but the Dave Van Ronk track as previously mentioned is worth the price of the album alone, in my view.

So, three stars for the album overall and five stars for The Outcast.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent I can relate to Tom's roots mine's the same, 7 Aug. 2013
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R. Codner "David Falkner" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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So good & being Irish & having family in USA whom I only discovered a few years ago I can so relate to this album.
It also helps one to understand the frontier mentality. If you enjoyed this album check out a song called "Old Dan" about my grandfather (who was a gunfighter from west Texas) Dan McGluan, it's on my own album 'To Be Continued....' also available from Amazon
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting songs and artists around a common theme., 11 July 2013
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Over all, I'm pleased with the album, although it's not completely contemporary. There is a direct, personal quality to Tom Russell's songs and delivery which I like and this comes through on this album.
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