10/7: Tom Russell at the Beachland

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“I write movies in my head all night,” declares Tom Russell in the song “Grapevine.” And given the humanity reliably found in the characters inhabiting those settings, the 56-year-old, L.A.-born, Texas-transplant singer-guitarist-songwriter crafts some very memorable “movies” indeed. Whether tearing a page out of his own world-weary journal or speculating the fate of a pair of 19th-century Mexican horse thieves or imagining Mickey Mantle as Oklahoma farm boy, Russell consistently sets a scene — typically in the American West — that draws you in by way of straightforward emotional truth. It’s a consistency that’s inspired covers by Johnny Cash, k.d. Lang and Nanci Griffith, among others. Russell’s three-decade body of work is celebrated on the 2008 anthology Veteran’s Day and is further enhanced by the just-released Blood and Candle Smoke. This time out, his subject matter moves from the Santa Ana winds to Nina Simone. Russell never fails to spin a compelling tale and seduce with emotion, up close and personal. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Admission: $20. — Duane Verh

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