Tom Russell

From ArticleWorld

Tom Russell is a very well known singer and songwriter who was raised on the cowboy music of the American West and is acknowledged as a virtuoso of country and folk music. Russell has recorded eighteen original albums. He has also published two books: a detective novel and a book of songwriting quotes, co-written with Sylvia Tyson.


Tom Russell was born in Los Angeles in 1950 but now lives on the border in El Paso, Texas. He graduated from the University of California with a Masters Degree in Criminology and taught in a school for a year in Nigeria. He also lived in Spain for a while and then moved to Vancouver, in British Columbia where he began his career in music right at the bottom, playing in the strip bars along Skid Row. He has shifted base quite a few times and has made his home in such varied places as Austin, San Francisco, New York, and El Paso.

Early career

Russell glided in and out of the music world until as a taxi driver in Queens he met guitarist Andrew Hardin and they decided to form a band. Sometime after this Russell and Hardin joined Robert Hunter on stage in New York’s ‘Bitter End’ and stepped into his opening act. Russell and Hardin have been a team since then. During the 1980’s Russell and his band mainly recorded songs with a base of folk, country and rock and cut four albums with them as the basic theme.


In 1999, Russell released ‘The Man From God Knows Where’ which was termed one of the most important folk records ever recorded by John Lomax III. Russell’s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, Dave Alvin, Guy Clark, Sylvia Tyson and others. His song ‘Outbound Plane’, co-written with Nancy Griffith and a hit for Suzy Bogguss, was one of the most performed AM radio songs of the 1990s.

He has recently appeared twice on Late Night with David Letterman Show.