Album release: Tom Russell, Mesabi
Released: September 12, 2011
Label: Proper Records
Tom is joined by Calexico, Lucinda Williams and Van Dyke Parks on his cinematic new album.
The Mesabi iron range juts into Minnesota, a desolate deposit of minerals and the birthplace of Bob Dylan. American composer and storyteller Tom Russell says that Bob Dylan inspired him to become an artist, and his new album, Mesabi, pays moving tribute with compelling tales that connect the iron range to the border town of Juarez, Mexico and the myth of Hollywood celebrity with cinematic, global revelry.
Mesabi, out September 12 on Proper Records, is a vast, interwoven collection of tales set to twangy rock, country and Mexican folk and features Calexico, Van Dyke Parks and Lucinda Williams. Co-produced by Russell and keyboardist Barry Walsh, and recorded in several different studios in Tucson, Texas, Nashville and Los Angeles, it is the 26th album from an artist whose songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.
Mesabi is thematically ambitious, drawing inspiration from American icons like Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and the perilous town of Juarez, Mexico, close to where Tom lives. Says Tom, "The puzzle is that [Juarez is] the most dangerous city in the world and El Paso, just over the bridge, is the safest city in the United States."
Along with the release of the album, 2011 has much in store for Tom. Filmmaker Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop) demanded that Tom's new songs be included in his new film Road To Nowhere; a book of 60 of Tom's paintings will be released this Autumn on Bang Tail Press; a documentary about Tom's life, Don't Look Down, will be released soon; and he will be touring.
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