2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA, 94704
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
When Tom Russell sings, people listen. His voice carries instant authority. He knows the world he’s singing about, he cares deeply, and he conveys his passion and intensity in a way that can’t be ignored. And why wouldn’t you pay attention? His songs are beautifully crafted, loaded with authentic detail and the occasional nugget of hard-won wisdom, and his deep, rugged voice is such a precise and sensitive instrument for conveying hope, hopelessness, and everything in between. The Chicago Sun-Times calls him “a master story-teller,” Rolling Stone calls him “the greatest living folk-country songwriter,” and the San Francisco Chronicle calls him “the last wandering Beat” and “a prolific and venerable artist writing the best songs of his career.”
Tom grew up in California, soaking up the California country sound of Buck Owens and Merle Travis. He studied criminology at UC Santa Barbara, lived in Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Austin, Texas, and eventually settled in the west Texas town of El Paso, where his songwriting has flourished. Such artists as Johnny Cash, Eliza Gilkyson, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott have recorded his songs. San Francisco’s own legendary poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti has said that he shares “a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America.” Tom has also published a detective novel and a collection of his letters with Charles Bukowski, and he’s a well-respected painter as well. His latest album, The Rose of Roscrae: A Ballad of the West, has been hailed as an American masterpiece. Get your tickets early. This is a show you won’t want to miss.