VA • WOUNDED HEART OF AMERICA; TOM RUSSELL SONGS
The strength of this collection is that the 14 covers and four ‘bonus tracks’ are all songs by Tom Russell, the weakness is that he and Mark Hallman got to pick them, so, while I very much doubt that this was their intention, it reveals both sides
of his equivocal talent. Things gets off to a very good start, with Johnny Cash singing Veteran’s Day and Dave Alvin Blue Wing, both from Poor Man's Dream (Philo, 1990), but then comes Joe Ely’s version of the fatally flawed Gallo Del Cielo, from Heart on a Sleeve (End Of The Trail/Demon , 1984), an absolutely masterful piece of lyrical craftsmanship with the minor drawback that it makes no sense whatsoever, and is, to put it mildly, politically and historically suspect.
In this instance, I actually don't care that Gallo Del Cielo is an historical fraud. …