Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tom Russell - The Man from God Knows Where

"Come gather round me children, a story I will tell...So it's rise up all you ancestors, and dance upon your graves." So begins the saga.
Russell,an extraordinary songwriter, has composed a folk opera loosely based on the history of his own family. His great grandmother came from Ireland during the famine to the Midwest and his great grandfather came from Norway. The songwriting is gripping and eloquent.
Russell's own wonderful singing is alternated with that of Dave Van Ronk and the excellent Norwegian singers Kari Bremmes and Sondre Bratland. Irish legend Delores Keane sings what may become the definitive version of "When Irish Girls Grow Up". The always spectacular Iris Dement is at her stunning best; her version of 'Wayfarin' Stranger' with Annbjorg Lien accompanying on the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle will not only give you goosebumps every time you hear it, but haunt you for a very long time.
This album is genius. It is a deeply affecting work of survival and pride in the face of hardship and partings, joy, madness, tradition and novelty. Artfully mixing traditional tunes with his own songs, Russell has created a profound musical commentary on the human condition as expressed in a uniquely American way. The final song, "Love Abides", is the appropriate climax/moral of this album, capturing the effort, heartbreak, and hope of this tale with a breath-takingly moving duet by Russell and Dement.Of the 200 or so (mainly celtic) albums I bought this year, this is best, period. Get it. - by J. Scarff,

Artist: Tom Russell
Album: The Man From Good Knows Where
Year: 1999
Label: Kirkelig
Runtime: 74:14

1.  The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell) 2:47
2.  Wayfarin' Stranger (Traditional) 1:10
3.  Patrick Russel (Tom Russell) 4:20
4.  Mary Clare Malloy (American Wake) (Eoin O'Riabhaigh) 3:30
5.  The Outcaste (Tom Russell) 3:48
6.  Ambrose Larsen (Traditional) 4:50
7.  The Dreamin' (Tom Russell) 4:13
8.  The Old Northern Shore (Tom Russell) 4:04
9.  The Man From God Knows Where/America (Walt Withman/Tom Russell) 1:39
10.  Anna Olsen (Tom Russell) 2:53
11.  Rider On An Orphan Train (David Massengill) 4:20
12.  Acres Of Corn (Tom Russell) 3:44
13.  The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell) 1:48
14.  Sitting Bull In Venice (Tom Russell) 3:32
15.  The Old Rugged Cross (George Bennard) 1:28
16.  Anna Olsen's Letter Home (Tom Russell) 2:57
17.  Eg Er Framand (Traditional) 1:21
18.  When Irish Girls Grow Up (Tom Russell) 3:12
19.  Casey Jones (Tom Russell) 0:59
20.  Chickasaw County Jail (Charlie Russell) 4:18
21.  Wayfarin' Stranger (Passage Of Time) (Traditional) 1:05
22.  Throwin' Horseshoes At The Moon (Tom Russell) 3:17
23.  The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell) 1:33
24.  The Outcaste (Revisited) (Tom Russell) 2:21
25.  Wayfarin' Stranger (Revisited) (Traditional) 0:59
26.  Love Abides (Tom Russell) 4:06

Tom Russell (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar)
Andrew Hardin (Acoustic and Electric Guitar)
Knut Reiersrud (Guitar, Dobro, Banjo, Harmonica, Lap Steel)
Jorund Bogeberg (Bass)
Anders Engen (Drums)
Eoin O'Riabhaigh (Uilleann Pipes, Tin Whistle)
Annjorg Lien (Fiddle, Key Harp)
Hank Bones (Trumpet, Trombone) - 5
Iris Dement (Piano, Vocals) - 2,15
Dolores Keane (Vocals) - 4
Dave Van Ronk (Vocals) - 5
Sondre Bratland (Vocals) - 6
Kari Bremnes (Vocals) - 10


  1. One of the greatest albums I know of. Tom Russell is my all time favorite artist!

  2. this one is dead... it'd be amazing to have a reup!! thanks so much!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...