Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Returning to familiar territory, Tom Russell ventures back to the Old West on this largely acoustic concept effort. He conjures a decidedly south-of-the-border ambiance with assistance from Andrew Hardin's Spanish guitar and Joel Guzman's evocative accordion solos. Even on those few occasions when Russell leaves the Old West in song, he lands in a place that is at least informed by Old West attitudes. It's not always a flattering view he takes, however, as on "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," his scabrous interpretation of a song made famous by Johnny Cash, concerning the Native American Korean War hero who fell victim to bigotry and alcoholism on his return Stateside. Several ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Returning to familiar territory, Tom Russell ventures back to the Old West on this largely acoustic concept effort. He conjures a decidedly south-of-the-border ambiance with assistance from Andrew Hardin's Spanish guitar and Joel Guzman's evocative accordion solos. Even on those few occasions when Russell leaves the Old West in song, he lands in a place that is at least informed by Old West attitudes. It's not always a flattering view he takes, however, as on "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," his scabrous interpretation of a song made famous by Johnny Cash, concerning the Native American Korean War hero who fell victim to bigotry and alcoholism on his return Stateside. Several of Russell's original songs are real standouts, including the rousing "Tonight We Ride," an epic tale that begins with "Black Jack" Pershing's pursuit of Pancho Villa and goes off on an intriguing tangent about existentialist wanderlust. Russell fleshes out the disc with interesting cover choices, including two Dylan selections: "Seven Curses," a real aficionado's choice done with high drama and great feeling, and a nine-and-a-half-minute version of "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" that finds Russell yielding the studio to Joe Ely, who simply scorches his verses, and Eliza Gilkyson, who'll win a few converts with her earthy, bluesy readings. A lilting, gentle retelling of Marty Robbins's classic "El Paso" stands on its own as a compelling folk performance, as does a reading of Linda Thompson's sweet, evocative Old West love song "No Telling." Russell's own majestic tale, "The Ballad of Edward Abbey," contains the priceless lyric, "I've tried my hand at monogamy / Now I'm off to save the West" -- one of many striking, memorable moments on what's surely one of the best albums of 2004.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
As its title suggests, Tom Russell's Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs finds him returning to the sound of the Southwest and the Old West in a combination of originals and covers. He has dug into his record collection and found a clutch of appropriate material including Marty Robbins' "El Paso," Peter La Farge's "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" prefaced by two spoken word character studies of Native Americans, and Bob Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" on which he alternates verses in the nearly ten-minute track with Eliza Gilkyson and Joe Ely. Less well-known are Linda Thompson's "No Telling," Woody Guthrie's "East Texas Red," and Dylan's overwrought early song "Seven Curses." Russell's own compositions fit in well with the Western imagery of these story-songs. In the leadoff track, "Tonight We Ride," he quickly name-drops Pancho Villa, and his lyrics about dogs and horses, while providing a bit of comic relief, are much in keeping with the rest. Russell sings in a rough voice that occasionally breaks into falsetto yelp, as his and Andrew Hardin's interweaving guitars make up the main part of the drumless arrangements. This is a rough-hewn, low-key effort, well represented by the Russell paintings that grace the CD package, looking like examples of Southwestern folk art.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • UPC: 012928816526
  • Catalog Number: 8165
  • Sales rank: 72,270

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tom Russell Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Eliza Gilkyson Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Joe Ely Vocals
Mark Hallman Bass
Andrew Hardin Guitar, Drums, Vocal Harmony
Joel Jose Guzman Organ, Accordion, Hammond Organ
Elana Fremerman Fiddle
Plaza Monumental Juarez Bull Ring Band Track Performer
Technical Credits
Marty Robbins Composer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Tom Russell Composer, Producer, Art Direction, Paintings
Bob Dylan Composer
Peter La Farge Composer
Mark Hallman Engineer, Mastering
Dick Reeves Art Direction
Paul Zarzyski Composer
Linda Thompson Composer
Plaza Monumental Juarez Bull Ring Band Contributor
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