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Music City by the Sea - Tom Russell

Tom Russell
30th July 2006

And So the Music

Russell started the night with a fistful of songs from his new album, Love and Fear. Of course, we got the arrangements for guitar and mandolin - which were great. Amongst the songs he did in the first half were a Dylan song, Seven Curses, which he covered on his album, Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs (2004), and Grapevine from Hotwalker.

He finished the first half with the lead song from his new EP: Who's Gonna Build Your Wall. Immigration has become a BIG Issue in American life today. Back in April half a million people marched in Dallas, Texas, demanding justice for immigrants, and that was just one of a nationwide series of demos. Controversy rages over Republican plans to build a 700 mile wall (Berlin-style, Israeli-style) along the Mexican-American border to keep out illegal immigrants. Russell lives in West Texas, near the border.

Russell has already explored the subject of immigation in his California Snow from Borderland (which he also sang). But where California Snow is a gentle, thoughtful ballad, Who's Gonna is an anthem! The chorus runs:

Who's Gonna Build Your Wall, boys? Who's gonna mow your lawn?
Who's Gonna Cook Your Mexican food, when your Mexican maid is gone?
Who's gonna wax the floors tonight down at your local mall?
Who's gonna wash your baby's face? Who's gonna build your wall?(a)

In the second half of the show he sang a number of audience requests, and dipped into his large repetoire, often introducing each song with a thumbnail history of its origins. He finished with the Irish ballad, Carrickfergus, followed by the rousing The Road It Gives, the Road It Takes Away (Borderland) - his tribute to the unknown but not forgotten Scottish Mike.

Yes, you in the corner!


previous page

Tom Russell website
At Home with Van (Irish Heartbeat)

26-10-06 Prseident George W Bush approves the construction of the proposed 700 mile fence at a cost of $1.2 billion LINK.


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