A review of Tom Russell’s CD “Folk Hotel”

Tom Russell "Folk Hotel"

Tom Russell has never been a GRAMMY nominee let alone the winner of such an award. Of course, he’s not a ‘prominent’ singer-songwriter in a ‘popular genre’ but the artistry of his music, whether it be on his latest CD “Folk Hotel,” or in many of his earlier releases, blatantly outshines many of the actual honorees.

Just give “All on a Belfast Morning” a listen here:

Yes, “let us not confuse the pint with the pouring.”

In this new release, Russell continues his penchant for writing about historical and cultural figures in a compelling manner as with “Up in the Old Hotel” and its numerous references:

But in “Harlan Clancy,” he goes present day in depicting a segment of life in rural America so pertinent in the 2016 election:

Our vocabulary is expanded in the provocatively titled “The Dram House Down in Gutter Lane” with listeners learning about harrigans, hags, rusty guts and more. His vivid use of such antiquated words is reminiscent of the late Dave Carter.

Dylan Thomas and his poetry are lauded in “The Sparrow of Swansea.”

Russell writes and sings about fragility in life, of facing and combating demons, succumbing  to or subsisting alongside them in a makeshift shelter. He is both earthy and eloquent. There simply isn’t a better craftsman producing such work today.