Thirty years of rarities and outtakes from Dark Angel


Thirty years of rarities and outtakes from Dark Angel
N O.
ill my sins outlive me? With a gun at my head, I was
forced to bless this rarities project, Museum of Memories. The money will go to
keep the website rolling and will also keep those gig cards coming out to you.
This is not the “next” Tom Russell album of new material. I hope to record
that one in December and have it out by April of next year—working title:
Unredeemed or What I Did After I Was Released From the Asylum. Or
maybe just Tales of Ordinary Madness.
Thanks to Ed Becker and John Yuelkenbeck for hanging in there
and putting this together. I am not a good critic of my own stuff. I am
always thinking up the next record, rhyme, and story. I hope it entertains
you—thanks for helping keep the website alive. See you down the road.
El Paso, 8/02
aught somewhere between ’em
It’s the best disc Tom Russell never
released! A limited edition compilation
of incredible songs, all appearing for the
first time on CD, most for the first time
anywhere. Possibly even a bonus track!
Not sold in stores. Offered exclusively
through us here at Dark Angel while
supplies last. Destined to be the holiday
gift this year.
From Tom’s early band Mule Train,
the (Patricia) Hardin & Russell years, the
Tom Russell Band, and on through to a
new song recorded live on his current
tour—it’s all here.We asked Tom to jot
some track-by-track notes for us:
1972 – Strung Out (Like The
Tightest Wire On A Frozen Barbed
Wire Fence). One of the first songs I
wrote as a member of “Skid Row’s Finest
Band,” Mule Train, in Vancouver, B.C. It
owes a little to Commander Cody’s style,
and to my working six sets a night in a
topless bar on skid row. Financed by a
well known “porn king” and put on 500 of
his jukeboxes. Promptly removed by
Mothers Against Drugs and Drunk
Driving. So the 500 copies rotted in a
Chinese warehouse. Until now. Enjoy.
1974 – Shipwreck Kelly. From one
of Patricia Hardin and my demos in 1974.
Don MacPherson, my old friend and
drummer, is on both these first two tracks.
I had moved to Austin by this time, but we
drove back to Vancouver to record this on
some grant money. Alvin ‘Shipwreck’
Kelly was a flagpole sitter in the 1920s.
1981 – Cross of Guadalupe. I have
no idea what this song is about, except that
it’s an early attempt at a drug running
ballad. What is notable is that its from a
live Lone Star Cafe show in NYC, opening
for Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead
lyricist I had picked up in a cab. I sang
Thirty years of rarities and outtakes from Dark Angel
him “Gallo del Cielo” in my cab at 4 A.M.
and he hired us to open shows. This was
Andrew Hardin’s and my first live gig
together. He’s playing the tiple, a South
American instrument. I recall consuming
quite a bit of Jack Daniels to bolster my
courage since I had not performed in two
years. Andrew was worried.
1985 – La Galué (The Glutton). The
true, sordid life of Moulin Rouge dancer
La Galué who appears in one of ToulouseLautrec’s paintings. All the facts are true.
Don’t try any of this at home. I was hoping
for a Serge Gainsbourg cover or perhaps
Charles Aznavour.
1986 – Shut Out the Light. Rare
Springsteen cover. There was one line I
could not understand, so I blurted out
something like “a John Deere Minor
stands.” Whatever that means.
1987 – Can’t Keep No Liquor.
Sounds like an attempt to write like John
Prine. I only sang it once live. I guess I
was feeling guilty that I usually drank up
all the wine and vodka around the
“Bunker,” my storefront in Brooklyn.
Early alt country.
1988 – Chinatown in the Rain. I
wrote “Hurricane Season” and this song
one night quite blasted on vodka. I sang it
into a old four-track machine. Sounds like
Fats Kaplin on the accordion. Influenced
by an earlier trip to the Yucatan in Mexico
where we ran into a lot of “Jackie
Spragues,” gringos who had disappeared
into the jungle years ago—living off their
wits or their inheritances. Graham Green
characters. The lawless roads!
1988 – Amelia’s Railroad Flat. Katy
Moffatt still opens her sets with this one.
Can’t recall writing it. Influenced by
cheap wine and beautiful women in long
ago countries of the heart.
1989 – Mineral Wells. Love that town
and the old Baker Hotel. The Baker has
been boarded up, but the Crazy Water is
an old age home. You can have the hotel for
free if you put in a sprinkler system. Sang
it with Katy on Long Way Around.
I wrote a screenplay treatment of this with
Sylvia Tyson.
1990 – The Heart. Written with
Greg Trooper. Has been recorded by
Sarah Elizabeth Campbell and Lucy
Kaplanski. I sang this with Greg in
Ireland this year. Not a bad song.
1991 – Big Fool. Written with Katy
Moffatt, she’s singing harmony. Probably
in Switzerland on one of those long, winefilled evenings in Buchs—before Cuno
hung himself in our mountaintop hotel.
Damn, Cuno, your took it all too seriously.
1993 – 10 Cent Lemonade. Wrote
this with a Nashville writer, Alan Rhody.
Trying to write something commercial.
1993 – Biggest Bordertown.
Written with Dylan’s old protégé Bobby
Neuwirth. He told me anyone could
survive New York if they understood it
was just a big ole bordertown. Understanding New York prepared me for
1995 – Roddy McCorley. Dredged
up for St. Paddy’s day in St. Louis. I first
heard this old IRA song done by the
Kingston Trio and Clancy Brothers.
1995 – Hank and Audrey. Another
Katy Moffatt co-write. Written for George
Jones and Tammy Wynette. No sale.
1996 – Closin’ Sunny’s Diner.
Written about the place where I used to
eat breakfast in Brooklyn. Sunny had his
hand blown off in the war. Ebbets Field
was torn down long ago. I was in L.A.
when the Dodgers came to town. A few
continued on back
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Unprecedented merchandise offers from
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Tom Russell & Patricia Hardin 1975–79:
The Early Years ___ CD(s) @ $16 = _______
Box of Visions
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Scheduled Release: October 1, 2002
of them used to play poker with my Dad.
I have an autographed ball of the Dodger
team in 1959. Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax,
and crew.
1999 – When Irish Girls Grow Up
from The Man From God Knows Where.
I’d like to do the whole album as a one-man
2000 – Open Pit Mine. Outtake from
Borderland. Old song on a early George
Jones record. Murder ballad. My brother
likes it.
2002 – The Dogs Bark But The
Caravan Moves On. A new song. I believe
I heard Truman Capote use this old
Moroccan saying. This is from a show this
year in Denver. I thought I’d put this on the
next album, but it’s become a one-trick
pony. The coyote-ugly lines don’t grow on
me. Feel free to use the line next time your
relationship goes south.
We have to stop Tom there before he
gives away the bonus track. Museum of
Memories 1972–2002 is a twenty track
audio CD (not CD-R), running as close to
a full 80 minutes as you can get. Packaged
in an oversized, 5-color, multipanel wrap
with liner notes and collector’s cards.
The Dark Angel label is distributed
by the merchandising team of Bill and
Corky at Village Records. For the best in
new and used music, be sure to check out or call (913) 631-4199
between 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., CST.

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