CD Raw Vision: The Tom Russell Band 1984-1994 [Digipak] (CD 148467),
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Raw Vision: The Tom Russell Band 1984-1994 [Digipak]
2. U.S. Steel
3. Blue Wing
4. Home Before Dark
5. Veteran's Day
6. Purgatory Road
7. Heart of Hearts
8. Navajo Rug - (featuring Ian Tyson)
9. Gallo del Cielo - (featuring Ian Tyson)
10. Spanish Burgundy
11. Hurricane Season
12. Haley's Comet
13. Oil Field Girls - (previously unreleased, bonus track; demo)
14. Hong Kong Boy - (previously unreleased, bonus track; demo, featuring Greg Trooper)
15. Denver Wind - (previously unreleased, bonus track)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1248
Tom Russell: Tom Russell; Fats Kaplin (pedal steel guitar); Dusty Wakeman, Billy Troiani, Hank Bones, Andrew Hardin (bass instrument); Charlie Caldarola, Mike Warner, Jeff Donovan (drums); David Mansfield , Lee Thornburg, Steve Holley, Skip Edwards, Tom Timko.
Personnel: Tom Russell (vocals, acoustic guitar); Greg Trooper, Ian Tyson, Katy Moffatt (vocals); David Hidalgo, Andrew Hardin (guitar); David Mansfield (slide guitar); Fats Kaplin (fiddle, harmonica, accordion); Lee Thornburg, Tom Timko (horns); Skip Edwards (keyboards); Mike Warner, Steve Holley (drums).
Additional personnel: David Hidalgo, Greg Trooper, Ian Tyson.
Audio Remasterers: John Yuelkenbeck; Mark Hallman.
Liner Note Author: Tom Russell.
Photographer: Raymond Mosken.
Raw Vision is a compilation from the Tom Russell Band's Rounder/Philo recordings. As such it is a competent, somewhat representative, but nowhere near thorough enough collection of Russell's best music for the label. One reason is that while these tunes offer a glance at the true gift of his vocation as a songwriter, they don't capture the true flavor of the albums these tracks come from. While there isn't a weak track in the bunch, none of them stand out the way they did on his albums -- all of which were conceived that way -- and they don't completely capture the flair and drama that Russell and his mates could conjure when fully in it. Perhaps what should have been done was to cull through the songwriter's vast catalog of personal live recordings and issue either a gig or the live versions of these songs, which one suspects would have held up better. This set doesn't begin to get at the complexity, darkness, and "raw vision" Russell has in spades when he records an album -- at least a double disc might have been a better taste of that. One has to wonder, as a longtime fan of Russell's, about the track selection here. It feels haphazard and lazy; too many of his finest songs were left off. Russell is a great storyteller and a fine singer. He has practiced his craft to a precision point and most of what's here reveals that. But why "Angel of Lyon" was left off or "Manzanar" or "William Faulkner in Hollywood" is only a puzzle that is frustratingly left unanswered. To be fair, however, this does serve as a somewhat suitable introduction to a fine American songwriter who has fiercely blazed his own trail and who hasn't gotten nearly his due when it comes to influencing others. For hardcore fans there are three bonus tracks, including the unreleased demos of "Oil Field Girl, " and "Hong Kong Boy," as well as "Denver Wind," that was on the European version of Poor Man's Dream. ~ Thom Jurek
Dirty Linen (p.58) - "Tom Russell is a musical novelist whose stories are slices of life that draw on emotion and realism, from people down on their luck, to love and heartache, to hitting the bottle."
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Philo CDPH 1248
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