- Released: April 17, 2001
- Label: Hightone Records
Uncut - 11/01, p.1263 stars out of 5
- "...He's a songwriter of rare imagination..."
No Depression - 5-6/01, p.125
"...11 finely honed vignettes...Tex-Mex, edgy folk, and a little electric rock....Russell focuses around the action of his new home on the El Paso/Juarez frontier..."
- 1.A Touch of Evil
- 2.Down the Rio Grande
- 3.When Sinatra Played Juarez
- 4.Where the Dream Begins
- 5.The Hills of Old Juarez
- 6.The Santa Fe at Midnight
- 7.Let It Go
- 8.California Snow
- 9.The Next Thing Smokin'
- 10.What Work Is
- 11.The Road It Gives Road It Takes Away
Personnel includes: Tom Russell (vocals, guitar); Eliza Gilkyson (vocals); Andrew Hardin (guitar); Gurf Morlix (slide guitar, bass); Joel Guzman (accordion); Ian McLagan (Hammond B3 organ); Jimmy LaFave (background vocals).
Recorded at Rootball Studios. Austin, Texas in December 2000 and January 2001.
Tom Russell proves once again to be perhaps the finest American folk-roots artist that most Americans never heard of. The title of this latest collection reflects a focus on the El Paso-Juarez area, but also on emotional geography and the borders between a man and a woman. Some of the skillfully told stories are clearly autobiographical; all of them paint detailed, memorable portraits. Russell is singing and playing as well as ever here, but he gets an added boost on this disc from producer Gurf Morlix, who has filled the same role for Lucinda Williams and Robert Earl Keen. Morlix helped pick the songs and the band -- which includes such standouts as accordionist Joel Guzman and longtime Russell cohort Andrew Hardin on guitar -- and put them all to good use in a production that keeps Russell's world-weary voice front and center. ~ Jeff Burger