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Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)

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BOWL OF RED
CLAUDE DALLAS
GALLO DEL CIELO


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Frank Of Toledo 04 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM
Roddy 04 Jun 99 - 09:42 PM
Frank of Toledo 04 Jun 99 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jun 99 - 06:59 PM
Den 05 Jun 99 - 08:48 PM
Frank of Toledo 05 Jun 99 - 08:59 PM
Frank of Toledo 06 Jun 99 - 01:10 AM
Philippa 06 Jun 99 - 05:22 AM
Jeri 06 Jun 99 - 09:44 AM
bassen 07 Jun 99 - 04:25 AM
Brakn 07 Jun 99 - 04:58 AM
Den 07 Jun 99 - 07:16 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 99 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 02 Jul 00 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,JimmyC 03 Jul 00 - 12:43 AM
Mike Regenstreif 03 Jul 00 - 09:07 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 09 - 11:52 PM
Ebbie 25 Mar 09 - 12:42 AM
Midchuck 25 Mar 09 - 07:28 AM
Midchuck 25 Mar 09 - 07:31 AM
bankley 25 Mar 09 - 08:55 AM
Ebbie 26 Mar 09 - 12:00 AM
katlaughing 26 Mar 09 - 12:17 AM
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Subject: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Frank Of Toledo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM

I received a CD from Hightone Records 2 months ago to review for a possible concert here in Toledo. I was written by Tom Russell and explained as an Immigrant Song Cycle. It traced Tom's ancestors from Norway and Ireland, using Irish musicians and Norwegian musicians, as well as himself, his guitarist Andrew Hardin, Iris Dement, Dave VanRonk. The Irish singer was Delores Keane. Two Norwegian folk singers were also used. I was completely taken by this recording and would like to know if anyone has listened to it and if so what do they think of it? It is a great concept album with 26 cuts and over 74 minutes long...One CD..........


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Roddy
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 09:42 PM

What is the reference to "The Man from God Knows Where" ? This is a long verse account of the 1798 Rising in Ireland and the execution of one of its leaders in 1803, one Thomas Russell. It has never been sung to my knowledge. There was quite a long discussion on it here some little time ago. Roddy


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 10:55 PM

I received a pretty elaborate press release along with the CD, and the present Tom Russell's bloodlines go back to Patrick Russell from Templemore, Ireland. About eight years ago the present Tom Russell was in a bar in Downpatrick, Ireland, and an old man came up and asked him if he was Tom Russell. The old man said, "They hung your namesake, Thomas Russell right across the road in 1798, during the United Irish Rebellion. There"s a poem about him call "The Man From God Knows Where." Tom Russell decided then and there to right this song cycle. The Original title was to be American Primitive, but after that encounter in the bar in Ireland it became "The Man From God Knows Where". The rest of the CD follows his ancestors from Ireland and Norway. I hope I didn't make this sound confusing. It's one of those conceptual things that keeps you involved from Track one throughTrack 26..........


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:59 PM

I went to Tom Russell's "Man from God Knows Where" concert here in Denver last month, and it was excellent. Tom weaves wonderful stories with his songs - and the songs sound a hundred years old the momen they're written. And the guy who plays guitar with him is FANTASTIC!!!!
-Joe Offer, in exile in a Denver library-


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Den
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 08:48 PM

Into our townlan', on a night of snow, Rode a man from God - knows - where; None of us bade him stay or go, Nor deemed him friend,nor damned him foe, But we stabled his big roan mare: For in our townlan' we're decent folk, And if he didn't speak, why none of us spoke, And we sat till the fire burned low.


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 08:59 PM

I'm so glad to hear that Joe, because I have Tom's "The Man From God Knows Where Concert" here in Toledo, Oregon on Wednesday, June 23rd, and his guitar player Andrew Hardin is coming with him. I'm really looking forward to that concert...........


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 01:10 AM

Den; is that a poem or from a song. I have never heard it. Could you fill me in, and some idea of its' age. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Philippa
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 05:22 AM

I do believe it's part of a poem about Thomas Russell of the United Irishmen. You mentioned him yourself, and a poem, on 4 June!


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 09:44 AM

Step right up! Getchur Tom Russell website here! Just one click, folks, that's all it takes!

http://www.tomrussell.com/


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: bassen
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 04:25 AM

Oh yes! The CD has been a regular while cooking/washing up for months. Being an immigrant/emigrant norwegian american (born in the US of norwegian parents, emigrated to Norway as an adult), his songs have a great personal impact on me and listening to it still brings tears to my eyes. A fascinating imitation of the folk process by using the same melodies with different lyrics and varying instrumentation in telling each individual's story. And whenever we're all starting to think too highly of ourselves and our glorious achievements, "The outcasts" should be required listening. The whole CD is worth buying just for the image of Sitting Bull sitting in a gondola in Venice(!) dreaming of Custer's bloody scalp... I just saw a program on TV here in Norway where Tom Russell traced his roots in Norway, tracing names in the parish records and finally driving out to the place where Ambrose Larsen probably came from.

Last plug: how often can you buy a CD where Walt Whitman is a contributing artist?

bassen


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Brakn
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 04:58 AM

Earlier discussion.

Click here

Regards Mick Bracken


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Den
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 07:16 PM

Hi Frank its actually a poem written by Florence Wilson (who died around 1947) in 19 century Ulster dialect. The poem was about Thomas Russell who, with Henry Joy McCracken founded the northern arm of the united Irishmen in 1791.


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 07:39 PM

As was partially explained above, Tom Russell researched his family tree, and then wrote songs to tell the story of his ancestors. The result is a fascinating collection of story-songs.
In the second half of the concert, Tom does many of his older songs, including my favorites, "El Gallo del Cielo" and "Angel of Lyon." Hardin's guitar work brought roars of approval from the audience. This was one heckuva good concert.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 03:13 PM

Joe, Am I right in thinking that Tom Russell makes some sort of claim to be a descendant - direct or otherwise - of *the* Thomas Russell ?
If so, then everyone on this side of the Atlantic would be delighted to know of it.
The Templemore, of Tom Russell's ancestors, is in Co. Offaly, not in Co. Cork where *the* Thomas Russell originally hailed from. One last point, he *did not* die in 1798, but in the early 18oo's. I'm writing from memory here, so I am loth to hazard a precise year, but I think he was hanged outside Downpatrick gaol in 1803. His was the last public hanging n Ireland.
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: GUEST,JimmyC
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 12:43 AM

Annroi is correct about his year of death.

In 1791 a group of merchants and tradesmen in Belfast formed the First Society of United Irishmen it's founder was Wolfe Tone, it consisted of 36 members, among whom was his close friend Thomas Russell a former officer in the British Army and a County Tyrone Justice of the Peace., who later became the librarian of Linenhall Library in Belfast.

After the 1798 rebellion was put down a few remaining United Irishmen still at large plotted another attempt on behalf of Robert Emmet's rebellion in 1803, Thomas Russell was one of them and took the task of recruiting volunteers from Co.Down but with little sucess. After Emmet was arrested on 25th August Russell left the north and went into hiding in Dublin where he hoped to organise a jail break to free Emmet. Insted he was arrested on 9th September by Major Henry Sirr, who was also the captor of Emmet

Russell was hanged at Downpatrick Gaol in October 1803. While it is generally accepted that he hailed from Co Cork there is lots of evidence that he was originally from Ulster. Thus the appropriate name " The man from God knows where"


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Subject: RE: 'The Man From God Knows Where'
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 03 Jul 00 - 09:07 AM

Tom Russell does not claim to be an actual descendant of his namesake. He uses the coincidence as a literary device in the song-cycle.

Most of the other "characters" in TMFGKW are based on his actual ancestors.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:52 PM

Just found out Russell will be performing here on April 3rd. Came to Mudcat to find out what folks thought of him, listening to him on myspace, now, and definitely want the CD written of in this thread. Don't know if we can swing the tix, but we are going to try to go. Great info, thanks, folks.


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:42 AM

If you can make it, kat, go. He puts on a wonderful show, he's a GREAT songwriter and Andrew Hardin is fantastic. I talked with Hardin quite awhile - they are both very approachable.

I bought 4 albums of Tom Russell's that night and I will buy more the next time.

There are a number of people in Juneau who now sing his songs. As was said above, they sound old but very insightful.


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 07:28 AM

He is, and has been since the mid-nineties, the best singer-songwriter now living and working. Picking second place would be a stone bitch, but first is easy.

Just my opinion, of course. But I'm right.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 07:31 AM

PS: He now has a blog going, with a whole bunch of wonderful short prose essays.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: bankley
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:55 AM

thanks Midchuck... 'Lightfoot's Guitar' is great... Tom has the knack and gift... he's been at it for a long time and it shows... Not sure if Hardin is still touring with him... They have a lot of material and talent to draw from in the show.. and they're nice people..


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 12:00 AM

I was just reading about Hardin- it sounds like he hasn't been with Russell full time since 2005. They appear to be on friendly terms though. I found him on YouTube with Katy Moffat, doing a song that Russell wrote, and it says that he has been on Letterman twice with Russell.


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Subject: RE: Review: The Man From God Knows Where (Tom Russell)
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 12:17 AM

Thanks, folks! Michael Martin is playing with him, here.


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