Tom Russell is a renowned musician and painter whose work reflects both a life as a world traveler and his years spent immersing himself in the culture of the desert Southwest. Born in Los Angeles in 1950, he graduated from the University of California with a Masters Degree in Criminology and taught school for a year in Nigeria during the Biafran War. He lived in Spain, then relocated to Vancouver, B.C. where he started at the bottom of the music business, playing in the strip bars along Skid Row. He has since lived in Austin, San Francisco, New York, El Paso, and Santa Fe. He now resides back in Texas.
Tom has recorded thirty five highly acclaimed records & published five books. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, K.D. Lang, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Ian Tyson, Iris Dement, Joe Ely, and a hundred others.
Russell, a colorist in the tradition of Fritz Scholder, has been painting since 2003, and Yard Dog was the first gallery to show his work. He has published two books of his art: "Blue Horse Red Desert" and "Folk Hotel: Reflections, Paintings, Lyrics." Frontera, Russell's recording label, has published several books, including companion pieces to two recording projects, The Rose of Roscrae and Folk HoteL as well as an essay/art book, about Tom's art: The Ballad of Western Expressionism, and a novel, in 2020, Against The Blood.