The Rose of the San Joaquin

The Rose of the San Joaquin

by Tom Russell


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Tom Russell has grown consistently in the course of his many albums into one of the most articulate singer/songwriters on the country side of the tracks. His efforts with Barance Whitfield and earlier incarnations of the Tom Russell Band have guitar work by Tom's longtime partner Andrew Hardin. On this record, however, Russell has chosen, along with producers Dave Alvin and Greg Leisz, to create a more linear feel to the album, with each song set feeling like it takes place in the border town Russell has been so good at describing. Each song is a miniature film soundtrack, with characters clearly drawn. "The Sky Above and the Mud Below" is one of the key tracks that truly brings the listener a sense of despair in the middle of nowhere with its slow tempo and plain-spoken telling. It is ominous in the way it builds to the inevitable conclusion as potent after repeated listening as the tragic ending in Russell's earlier Gallo del Ciello. On the other hand, "Out in California" celebrates lust and longing of a different and no less universal loneliness, for that girl with the red dress, driven home by some high-octane playing. "Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son" (with Peter Case and Dave Alvin) is a hobo's waltz. The album also has some soft lovers ballads. The liner notes include Russell's reminiscence about the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a long lost relative that is perfectly in keeping with the tone of the album's songs. He has carved out a place for himself as a compelling storyteller, and this is one of his strongest albums of the '90s.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/19/1995
Label: Hightone Records
UPC: 0012928806626
catalogNumber: 8066
Rank: 121644

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Russell   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Chris Gaffney   Accordion
Katy Moffatt   Vocal Harmony
Dave Alvin   Guitar,Track Performer
Peter Case   Harmonica,Vocals,Track Performer,Vocal Harmony
Michael Thompson   Hammond Organ
Bob Glaub   Bass
Andrew Hardin   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Gut String Guitar,tiple,Vocal Harmony
Don Heffington   Percussion,Drums
David Jackson   Accordion
Greg Leisz   Dobro,Guitar,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,national steel guitar,Vocal Harmony
Bobby Lloyd Hicks   Percussion,Drums,Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Dave Alvin   Producer
Paul DuGre   Engineer
Greg Leisz   Producer
Fernando Z. Maldonado   Composer
Bobby Lloyd Hicks   Contributor

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