Tom Russell


Texas Platters

Tom Russell

Mesabi (Shout! Factory)

The Mesabi Iron Range is in Minnesota. Described as the chief deposit of iron ore in the US, it's also the location of Hibbing, birthplace of Bob Dylan. Like many singer-songwriters approaching retirement age, Tom Russell takes great inspiration from Dylan, so Mesabi uses that as a jumping-off point for a collection of songs tying together cultural icons James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and obscure historical figures Sterling Hayden and Ukulele Ike with places real and imaginary: Juarez, Mexico, and Never Never Land. The second consecutive disc he's accomplished with assistance from members of Calexico, it also features Lucinda Williams on a somber rendition of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," plus Augie Meyers, who co-wrote the appropriately woozy "And God Created Border Towns." As ambitious and poetic as Russell's ever been, Mesabi continues the Texas dweller's renaissance from aging folkie to adventurous craftsman.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, <i>Split</i>
Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, Split
Tape of tender lullabies envisions a warm refuge for queer people

Wayne Lim, May 12, 2023

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Tom Russell

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle