Album Review: Blood And Candle Smoke by Tom Russell
Excellent, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
Musically, this set is all over the place: folk, country, rock, desert blues, New Orleans-inspired jazz, waltzes, and early Sunday morning sidewalk-gospel shimmer, all seamlessly melded together in wildly various, irresistible, intoxicating ways. It's roots music whose limbs are so knotted and twisted they are inseparable. Blood and Candle Smoke is unlike anything in Russell's catalog.
Tex-Mex meets Grand Ol’ Opry via sparkling partnership with CalexicoThe halls of Americana are crowded to capacity with artists like Tom Russell, whose songwriting prowess gained him notoriety long before his performances ever did. Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Doug Sahm, Dave Alvin and k.d. lang are but a few of the high-profile singer/songwriters whose catalogs include a Russell original (the man has been at it for nearly four decades, after all).
Tom Russell is not your average contemporary Americana artist. To the best of my knowledge, neither Toby Keith nor Kenny Chesney maintains a degree in Criminology. Odds are also pretty good that neither of those clowns have taught anybody in Nigeria anything, either. For those of you scoring at home, Russell has done both and these attributes comprise but the tip of his artistic iceberg.