Tom Russell | Ballymaloe House

The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell. - Rolling Stone Magazine

The grandfather of Americana, whose deadpan sense of humour and powerful songwriting set him apart. – The Guardian

Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan. - The Montreal Gazette

Ballymaloe Grainstore is delighted to welcome the legendary Tom Russell on one of his rare visits to Ireland.  With forty albums under his musical belt, he is a revered, prolific and highly original singer/songwriter.

Russell’s masterpiece ‘folk opera’ The Rose of Roscrae was named the best folk album of 2015 by Mojo Magazine and lauded as ‘maybe the most important Americana record of all time’ by UK Folk. The album was included in the top ten list of dozens of publications including the Los Angeles Times.

It tells the story of an Irish boy who travelled from Tipperary to the American west in the 1880s, and mixes Irish influences with cowboy ballads, gospel, Mexican and French-Canadian songs.  Russell calls the epic album ‘Les Miserables in cowboy hats.’ 

Russell’s new album, October in the Railroad Earth [2019] – described as ‘Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash’ - further establishes him as simply the best American storyteller at work today.

A note from Rory Allen, Grainstore owner:

I have been listening to Tom Russell for many years. He is largely unknown in Ireland and even less so in Cork. When I saw that his Irish tour was only going to Belfast and Dublin, I felt it was only right he should come to Cork too.  So I got him!  What luck!

There are not many musicians I can listen to again and again, but Tom is one of them. His songs often relate to his Irish ancestors, Mexican hardships, or family experiences. They are truly moving songs, sung with true passion. 

Last year I travelled to Kilkenny to see him play - what a show!

I am so thrilled he is coming to Cork to play in my Grainstore. Please give him a reason to return by supporting this gig. Check him out - you’ll be glad you did!

See you there,


Tom Russell's songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, k.d. lang, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Dave Van Ronk, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Tom Paxton, Ian Tyson, Joe Ely and a hundred others.

 ‘A storyteller first, Russell’s songs mix the right amount of humor, fond reflection, passing sorrow, and smart observation to register on nearly all of the listening pleasure zones as they pass…He’s still cool, sounding like Johnny Cash…There are good reasons why Russell is so revered by his musical and literary peers.’  -  Saving Country

The very definition of a Renaissance man, Russell is also a painter, author and essayist who has published six books including a book on his art, a book of his songs, and a book of essays on the American West. His art is in the permanent collections of major museums in the U.S. and he is represented by six galleries around the world.

It will be a night not to be missed by those who truly appreciate folk and Americana music – and unique talent.

Price: €27
Date & Time: Wednesday 13th November 2019

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