Artist in his 60s, having already delivered 20-odd albums produces a live album of his old songs - sounds like it could be a "contractual obligation" and /or "creative drought" album, right? Well this one certainly isn't - it's 11 superlative rearrangements of a selection of Tom's songs, with the man himself in superb voice, backed by his guitarist and a 8 piece orchestra. I can't stop playing it! Maybe it's even better than the mighty "Borderland".
Whether you are new to Tom Russell or have a big pile of his CDs already, buy this one, you won't be disappointed - best album of 2013 so far by a country mile./ And try to catch him live too.
on 12 July 2013
Tom Russell recorded live while he runs through (mostly) fairly recent material backed by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble and Thad Beckman on guitar.
It's an interesting 55 minutes, with the familiar arrangings being replaced with more cinematic backdrops, reminding me in places of a Ennio Morricone style spaghetti western soundtrack.
There's something a bit cold about the recording and though I quite enjoyed it I can't imagine choosing to listen to this over the 'warmer' studio versions. That said, the audience seem to be enjoying themselves - perhaps it's one of those 'you had to be there' experiences?!
on 6 August 2013
This was my seventeenth CD purchase of the great Tom Russell, so I am a huge fan. But this goes in the same place as Hot Walker, i.e. I don't anticipate listening to it again. Very disappointing. The concept doesn't work.
I met a fellow at the Belfast gig in July who bought this during the interval as his first Tom CD. I told him to take it back and swap it for Blood and Candle Smoke, or Borderland or Long Way Round or Songs of the West or just about anything else on the table but he stood his ground and kept it. Mistake!