Last week I went to see Tom Russell at the Luminaire in Kilburn. I have seen him many times before and, as usual, he was utterly brilliant. Great songs, great stories and - on this occasion - some great pre-emptive heckling by Tom of the unruly elements of the audience. It is a long time since I have heard the word "skags" (and he wasn't talking about Rickie).
Tom was accompanied by Thad Beckman (whenever I have seen him previously it was with Andrew Hardin, but he appears to have been traded in for a younger model). They did two sets, both of an hour or more. The first was dominated by songs from "Blood And Candle Smoke", while the second was a mix of works in progress, old favourites and - unusually for Tom - a cover version: Peter LaFarge's "Ballad Of Ira Hayes". Tom did a good job of it but, with respect, he is never going to match this one:
"Ballad Of Ira Hayes" - Johnny Cash
And now, a bonus for Johnny fans. Recently I have discovered a marvellous piece of technology that enables you to convert YouTube videos to audio mp3s. Just about the first video I nabbed was a magnificent version of Dylan's "Girl Of The North Country" by Johnny and Joni Mitchell from his TV show back in about 1971. Here is the mp3:
"Girl Of The North Country" - Johnny Cash & Joni Mitchell
And here is the video clip: