Tom Russell – The Rose Of Roscrae


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.

Artist’s website:

‘The Rose Of Roscrae’ trailer video:


Photograph by Paul Svenson
Photograph by Paul Svenson

The dust-filled wind sweeps steadily down and across the flat, arid plains of Woody Guthrie’s America. Beginning many hundreds of miles from Portland, Oregon it carries with it the hopes and dreams of those who have gone before…the dreamers and seekers.   It whispers a birthright to the singular voice of a modern compatriot-in-arms… singer/songwriter Thad Beckman.

A professional musician for more than 25 years, Thad Beckman has paid his dues on these same dusty roads which run from California to New Jersey and points in between. His finely-crafted original songs are the story of life, the voice of modern America…from the growling delta blues of the Deep South to evocative contemporary folk…bound by the common thread of experience gleaned from the road . You can hear it in his voice….he’s been there.

Moving from Portland to northern California in the late 1980’s, Thad was quickly recognized by music promoters as an exceptional talent. As a guitarist, Thad Beckman has been hired by Tom Russell, Bo Diddley, The Shirelles and Earl ThomasAs a bandleader he soon found himself sharing the stage with such renowned artists as B.B. King, Albert Collins, James Cotton, The Band,  Emmylou Harris,  The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.

Realising his natural talents lay in painting tapestries of lyrical narrative, Thad moved to Austin, Texas in 1993. Quickly rising to the top of the burgeoning local acoustic live music scene, Thad began performing withDave Heath, (Robert Earl Keen) and Merel Bregante, (Loggins and Messina) and recording his fine all-original CD, Carry Me Back (1998), with Dave and Merel acting as co-producers. His writing blurs the lines in “…dusty increments between Steve Earle and John Hiatt”(John T. Davis, Austin-American Statesman) and he has received critical local acclaim as a songwriter in a songwriter’s town.  The real thing is hard to find, but as Jim Beal Jr.of the San Antonio Express-News says, when it comes to Beckman, “…Woody Guthrie would be proud”.

Now living back in the Northwest, Thad splits his time touring in Europe, The USA and Canada.

UK audiences will of course remember Thad playing guitar for US troubadour Tom Russell on his UK tours and now in 2014 they get their chance to hear Thad Beckman performing solo, playing his own songs telling his own stories. Thad will be playing songs from his latest album When The Sun Goes Down along with tracks from his previous five solo album releases.

“If you have never heard Mr. Beckman play, you have really been missing out.  Anyone in the audience could instantly recognize Mr. Beckman as a master of his craft.” No Depression

“Thad Beckman goes a long way to assuage guitar thirst on the stunning “Guadalupe,” one of the many that hold up with Russell’s best.” Acoustic Guitar

 “With commanding yet understated vocals as strong as his finger-style guitar playing.” Blues Review

Artist’s website: