The Rose of the San Joaquin

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard Meyer
Tom Russell has grown consistently in the course of his many albums into one of the most articulate singer/songwriters on the country side of the tracks. His efforts with Barance Whitfield and earlier incarnations of the Tom Russell Band have guitar work by Tom's longtime partner Andrew Hardin. On this record, however, Russell has chosen, along with producers Dave Alvin and Greg Leisz, to create a more linear feel to the album, with each song set feeling like it takes place in the border town Russell has been so good at describing. Each song is a miniature film soundtrack, with characters clearly drawn. "The Sky Above and the Mud Below" is one of the key tracks that truly...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard Meyer
Tom Russell has grown consistently in the course of his many albums into one of the most articulate singer/songwriters on the country side of the tracks. His efforts with Barance Whitfield and earlier incarnations of the Tom Russell Band have guitar work by Tom's longtime partner Andrew Hardin. On this record, however, Russell has chosen, along with producers Dave Alvin and Greg Leisz, to create a more linear feel to the album, with each song set feeling like it takes place in the border town Russell has been so good at describing. Each song is a miniature film soundtrack, with characters clearly drawn. "The Sky Above and the Mud Below" is one of the key tracks that truly brings the listener a sense of despair in the middle of nowhere with its slow tempo and plain-spoken telling. It is ominous in the way it builds to the inevitable conclusion as potent after repeated listening as the tragic ending in Russell's earlier Gallo del Ciello. On the other hand, "Out in California" celebrates lust and longing of a different and no less universal loneliness, for that girl with the red dress, driven home by some high-octane playing. "Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son" with Peter Case and Dave Alvin is a hobo's waltz. The album also has some soft lovers ballads. The liner notes include Russell's reminiscence about the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a long lost relative that is perfectly in keeping with the tone of the album's songs. He has carved out a place for himself as a compelling storyteller, and this is one of his strongest albums of the '90s.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/19/1995
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • UPC: 012928806626
  • Catalog Number: 8066
  • Sales rank: 173,750

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tom Russell Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Chris Gaffney Accordion
Katy Moffatt Vocal Harmony
Dave Alvin Guitar, Track Performer
Peter Case Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer, Vocal Harmony
Michael Thompson Hammond Organ
Bob Glaub Bass
Andrew Hardin Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Gut String Guitar, tiple, Vocal Harmony
Don Heffington Percussion, Drums
David Jackson Accordion
Greg Leisz Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, national steel guitar, Vocal Harmony
Bobby Lloyd Hicks Percussion, Drums, Vocal Harmony
Technical Credits
Dave Alvin Producer
Paul DuGre Engineer
Greg Leisz Producer
Fernando Z. Maldonado Composer
Bobby Lloyd Hicks Contributor
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