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
Who's Gonna Build Your Wall, boys? Who's gonna mow
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.