Entertainment Weekly - 5/23/97, p.65
"...Russell's dramatic, self-important baritone can be grating, but his finest work would get the nod from Woody Guthrie himself." - Rating: B
Personnel includes: Tom Russell, Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Nanci Griffith, Katy Moffatt.
Includes liner notes by Dave Alvin, Nanci Griffith.
Personnel: Tom Russell (vocals, acoustic guitar, accordion); Andrew Hardin (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tiple, tabla, percussion); Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Katy Moffatt, Nanci Griffith (vocals); David Mansfield (slide guitar, mandolin); Hank Bones (lap steel guitar, tamboura, bass guitar, percussion); Jeff Berman (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Fred Remmert.
Liner Note Author: Tom Russell.
Recording information: Blue Planet Studio, Nashville, TN (05/1996-12/1996); Bones Tones Studio, Brooklyn, NY (05/1996-12/1996); Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO (05/1996-12/1996); West End Studio, Kansis City, MO (05/1996-12/1996).
Photographers: Ebet Roberts; Charlyn Zlotnik; Brendan Fitzpatrick.
Even though he has more than a dozen recordings out under his own name, Tom Russell remains the ultimate "songwriter's songwriter." While some in the breed become well-known singing their own songs and others gain some measure of notoriety by providing signature songs for popular singers, Russell has managed to create a body of exemplary work (which dots dozens of singer/songwriters' recordings) to which his name somehow fails to stick.
Recorded roughly half in the studio and half "live" at St. Louis' Off Broadway, THE LONG WAY AROUND sets out to correct this slighting. With his gruff, gritty voice accompanied throughout by Andrew Hardin's elegant guitar work, Russell sings and strums his way through 17 of his finest compositions. Heavyweight pals--including Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Katy Moffatt and Dave Alvin--lend voices to all but four of the tunes. John Prine and Steve Goodman fans, in particular, take note.