Tom Russell is a bit of a legend in these parts. His shows in the Errigle Inn and Flowefield Arts Centre live long in the memories of those who were lucky enough to catch him killing packed houses with his top drawer song writing and captivating stage presence.

It’s sometimes difficult to bottle the essence of that energy in a recording studio but, fear not, this latest work is just a different but equally as satisfying way of appreciating the talent of Tom Russell. Great songwriting, distinctive high power vocals, top class musicians and crystal clear production. Oh and lovely packaging, complete with original Tom Russell artwork.

“Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash in Bakersfield” is some claim to live up to but he manages to hold his head up in such company. The range of subject matter that sparks the writer is great. The brilliant ‘Small Engine Repairs’, the title track from the Irish Film of the same name to subtle and not so subtle reflections on the state of the world and politics herein. Very little escapes the critical gaze and thoughts of this sometimes world-weary but always perceptive and highly creative man.

There isn’t really a weak track nor a filler here, each well worth the effort to produce and listen to. I wonder about ‘When The Road Gets Rough’, a reflection about life on the road touring in England, eight hour drives and the driver coughing. Might Belfast Russell fans be able to name that driver? You share the pain and fleeting glory of being on the road.

Rounding off the album with Johnny Cash’s ‘Wreck Of The Old 97’ is perfect. Great album for a long drive thinking Cash, Buck and Kerouac.

‘October In The Railroad Earth’ is released on 15th March 2019 on Proper Records.

Tom Russell Irish Tour Dates

Thursday 14th November 2019The Errigle InnBelfastNorthern Ireland
Friday 15th November 2019The Errigle InnBelfastNorthern Ireland
Saturday 16th November 2019Leap CastleRoscreaIreland
Sunday 17th November 2019TBCDublinIreland