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Song of the West Best of


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Audio CD, Best of, September 9, 1997
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It would be easy for Tom Russell to coast on reputation alone. With a career stretching back nearly four decades, and a catalog of more than 20 albums, the consummate storyteller has amassed a devoted following that cherishes his vivid, novelistic tales evoking the spirit of the American experience in tightly constructed, panoramic vignettes. Among his most ardent fans are fellow artists: ... Read more in Amazon's Tom Russell Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B000003OJ5
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,583 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rambler, Gambler
2. The Banks Of The Musselshell
3. Dance Hall Girls
4. The Sky Above, The Mud Below
5. Hallie Lonnigan
6. South Coast
7. Gallo Del Cielo
8. Alkali
9. The Ballad Of William Sycamore
10. The John Bull Tin
11. Claude Dallas
12. Rayburn Crane
13. El Llano Estacado
14. Navajo Rug
15. Prairie In The Sky

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mois Benarroch - Author of HORSES AND OTHER DOUBTs on August 28, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The story goes that the boss (B. Springsteen) once recorded one of Russell's songs that never made it to any of his records. "close but no cigars" is what Russell said about it in an interview.
Russell has been for a long time one of the most admired songwriters in America and nobody knows why he isn't a superstar today, why he is not selling at least like The Band, or like Springsteen himself.
Here we find Russell with a new label, Hightone, and like many people recording for small labels he is rerecording some of his best known songs. more than half of this cd are songs he has recorded in the past, and many more than once. The number of versions of Gallo Del Cielo on Lp's and Cd's by Russell himself must be very close to 10 (!).
That's the question I aksed when I heard about this cd: Do we need another version of Gallo Del cielo, Claude Dallas, Alkali, etc...
I dont know if we need it or not ( do we need another cd? another bar? another pair of pants?) but I sure can hear that these songs work well together making this the best cd by Tom Russell, in a long discography that has many highs. The songs are played all acoustic, his voice is at his best, and although we don't have the exitement of the first versions we find instead the calm voice of wisdom.
For those who are a bit afraid of the west or the cowboy word attached to this cd, dont worry, this is just one of the greatest singer-songwriters's cd's of the year, as well as one of the best american roots music around. buy and enjoy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is a follow up album to Cowboy Real, where Tom uses his lyrical talent to tell stories of life in the west. A wonderful mixture of county and folk, by the end of the album you will wish you knew the rich characters of each track. Most of the songs are original, but some are an amazing adaptation of classic cowboy poetry set to music. Not only are the words amazing, but the guitar riffs are classic Tom Russell - clean, rich, and unique.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George F. Hitzfeld on September 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the best I have heard since the folk scare of the early 60s. I see a couple of Ian Tysons songs that Tom does a great job on. The truthfulness and originalty of Toms presentation alone or with harmony and a guitar revitalized my hopes for a return to some good honest music by a man who has the talent and can't help himself. Like an old friend who was a fantastic bluegrass picker told my wife when she complained about me playing my guitar and singing all the time, He said "little bit he just can't help it" Thats toms excuse too
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Laycock on February 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Tom Russell is first a story teller. These songs are mostly written by Tom or co-written with Ian Tyson. South Coast is by Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Mary McCaslin's "Prairie in the Sky" closes it out. On this album you get to hear The Tom Russell Band with his long time and now long gone guitarist Andrew Hardin. Andrew adds incomparable color and style to the music. His stand out track is probably Gallo del Cielo.

Tom kicks it off with real attitude in "Rambler, Gambler", "You people don't like me? Well, just leave me alone." Then swings into the Russell/Tyson song Banks of the Musselshell, the tale of a young cowboy on the long drive from Texas to Montana. Russell sees the West as a lonely frontier whether the setting is an historic epic like "The Ballad of William Sycamore" or a contemporary story like "Claude Dallas". I'd list my favorites but there's about eight or nine of them and the rotate. You should just mount up head out for an excellent adventure.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Big Johnson on November 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Where is "Tonight We Ride"?? It cannot get any more 'cowboy' than that! That song is very historical and so visual. My grandpa rode with Pershing, out of Fort Huachuca, AZ, chasing Pancho Villa back into Mexico. One of the first times this nation was invaded. Sadly, now Mexicans invade it daily. Love Tom Russell---great musical bard.
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