In honor of the fifth anniversary of his death, Smithsonian Folkways presents A Tribute to Jack Hardy, featuring 26 previously unreleased recordings of Hardy’s songs by an illustrious group of performers, all of whom cited him as a key influence and a personal friend.
Performers include album producers Mark Dann and David Massengill, joined by contemporary folk standouts including Nanci Griffith, Suzanne Vega, Jonathan Byrd, Red Molly, Lucy Kaplansky, Brian Rose and many more. Jack Hardy himself, known as a welcoming host for weekly songwriting workshops who also founded the Fast Folk magazine/label, is also included via two unreleased tracks recorded shortly before he died.
The 105-page liner notes include Hardy’s “Songwriter’s Manifesto,” complete lyrics, photos, and personal tributes, anecdotes, and essays from the participating singer-songwriters.
Double CD album out 13th April 2015 on Proper Records
Tom Russell’s ambitious new double-album The Rose of Roscrae takes a fascinating look at the history of the American West and traditional cowboy and folk music, through the story of an Irish kid who travels to the United States in the late 1880s to become a cowboy.
Produced by Tom Russell and Barry Walsh, The Rose of Roscrae features a who’s who of legendary Americana icons including: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, David Olney, Johnny Cash, Joe Ely, Augie Meyers, Fats Kaplin, Barry Walsh, Jimmy LaFave, Gretchen Peters, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Walt Whitman, Moses “Clear Rock” Platt, Jack Hardy, David Massengill, A.L. “Bert” Lloyd, Finbar Furey, Sourdough Slim, Blackie Farrell, Tex Ritter, Glen Orhlin, Pat Russell, John Trudell, Henry Real Bird, Thad Beckman, Maura O’Connell, Eliza Gilkyson, The McCrary Sisters, Ian Tyson, Bonnie Dobson, Lead Belly, Guy Clark, Dan Penn, Gurf Morlix, and Pat Manske. The album’s overture is performed by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, arranged by Mats Hålling, composed by Tom Russell.
For over four decades and 28 album releases Tom Russell has continued to live up to his status as “one of the best singer-songwriters of our time” (Washington Post). His previous two studio releases, Blood and Candle Smoke (2009) and Mesabi (2011), are considered his strongest composed works yet and were, in part, recorded with the groundbreaking roots band Calexico. In the 1990s, Russell and Dave Alvin were hailed as the architects of what came to be known as “Americana” music after their Merle Haggard tribute, Tulare Dust, initiated the Americana charts in the U.S. and remained number one for a year. Russell’s previous release, Aztec Jazz (2013), moved Americana into a new realm and his acclaimed song catalogue into uncharted territory.
Tom Russell’s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, and others. The Rose of Roscrae is his third in a series of acclaimed folk operas, following The Man From God Knows Where (1999) and Hotwalker (2005). Russell has also composed movie scores, including songs for the Monte Hellman movie The Road To Nowhere and published five books, most recently 120 Songs of Tom Russell. An accomplished fine artist, Russell’s paintings are featured in: Blue Horse/Red Desert: The Art of Tom Russell.