Listeners with a sense of the unintentionally hysterical are in for a treat with Tom Russell’s Blood and Candle Smoke.
Tom Russell’s new album is a “noble experiment.”
Blood and Candle Smoke
[Rating: 4 stars]
Listeners with a sense of the unintentionally hysterical are in for a treat with Tom Russell’s Blood and Candle Smoke. Calexico backs him in a garish neo-Marty Robbins mode, with lots of south-of-the-border trumpet embellishing Russell’s narratives. What’s fascinating about Candle Smoke is Russell’s obvious passion for his great, big, sentimental continent, from Indiana to Texarkana—every line he delivers screams a kind of virile campiness that he probably didn’t intend. Candle Smoke is a noble experiment and, quite simply, a hoot—Richard Harris is smiling and singing “MacArthur Park” in heaven. Russell conflates Dory Previn and Graham Greene in the record’s opener, while “Criminology” is set in Nigeria and mentions Picasso. “All that real estate and pride/All those Indians that died /While the Spanish priests/Danced the drunk fandango,” he moans in “Santa Ana Wind.” It’s a funny, funny record, and you may just love it.
MP3 STREAM > [wpaudio url=”https://americansongwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/02-Santa-Ana-Wind.mp3″ text=”Tom Russell – Santa Ana Wind” dl=”0″]