Tom Russell has recorded 25 records and one DVD. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nancy Griffith, Joe Ely, Iris Dement, Ian Tyson, KD Lang, Suzy Bogguss, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Jeff Walker, Dave Van Ronk and other great artists.
Russell credited, along with Dave Alvin, of inventing the Americana radio format with their Merle Haggard tribute 'Tulare Dust' in 1994. The Columbus Other wrote: 'Russell seems to have invented, and keeps re-inventing, American roots music...! He's the strongest live performer we have seen in years.'
Tom Russell has appeared on the David Letterman TV show four times in the last few years, and his songs have appeared in a dozen movies and television series including: Tremors, Songcatcher and Northern Exposure.
Russell was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and now makes his home on a 2.68 ''badland farm'' on the border of El Paso-Juarez. He graduated from the University of California with a Master's Degree in Criminology and taught school in Nigeria during the Biafran war, befor re-locating to Vancouver to begin his musical career singing Hank Williams' songs in skid row bars.
Tom Russell has published three books: a detective novel (in Scandinavia), a compendium of songwriting quotes with Sylvia Tyson (And Then I Wrote - Arsenal Press), and a book of letters with Charles Bukowski: (Tough Company: Mystery Island Press).
Russell is also an established painter represented by Yard Dog Folk Art in Austin and Marfa (www.yarddog.com) and Rainbow Man in Santa Fe (www.rainbowman.com)
In 2008 Shout Factory released 'Veteran's Day', a double disc Anthology with 37 songs, which were remastered, from Tom's entire recording career. Guest artists included Dave Alvin, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, Ian Tyson, and many more. There are also two unreleased songs included, and a twenty page booklet. In 2009 Tom co-produced, and was a featured guest, on the critically acclaimed Gretchen Peters record One To The Heart, One To The Head which included Tom's song "Guadalupe" and songs by Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. Tom's new Shout Factory record Blood and Candle Smoke is scheduled for a 2009 fall release.