Music » Livewire

Tom Russell

Thursday, March 4, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Tom Russell didn't invent the musical style we call Americana any more than Al Gore invented the internet. But Russell did have a strong hand in shaping the genre; in fact, the California native and West Texas resident might be the music's very definition. Even talking about Russell strictly in musical terms doesn't do him justice. He's as literary as he is lyrical -- giving us cowboy novels or modern-day Homeric narratives set to song. He was the force behind Tulare Dust, the Merle Haggard tribute compilation that honored Depression Era migrants (Haggard was one) as much as it did the country-music legend himself.

Russell's "Man From God Knows Where" chronicles his own family's journey from the British Isles to the American West. His new CD, Cowboys, Indians, Horses, Dogs, is a collection of his own compositions, a few covers, and some traditional songs of the Old West, with longtime guitarist Andrew Hardin shining again and Russell, Joe Ely, and Eliza Gilkyson trading vocals on Bob Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.