Flowerfield welcomes back Tom Russell

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THE LAST time songwriter Tom Russell played at Flowerfield Arts Centre, the venue was swamped with demand for tickets – such is the reputation of the acclaimed storyteller and troubadour, who returns to Portstewart on Tuesday, July 16.

Tickets for the 8pm show are priced at £15, which includes a complimentary glass of wine or fruit juice at the interval, and they’re available from reception at Flowerfield Arts Centre. You can purchase with your credit or debit card over the phone – call (028) 7083 1400. Tickets are also available online at the Real Music Club website at www.realmusicclub.com.

Tom’s recent albums Mesabi and Blood and Candle Smoke have contained some of his most compelling tales to date. A thread runs through the songs, a zigzagging but determinedly solid line that connects the perilous border town of Juarez, Mexico to the real and faux glitz of Los Angeles and the bleak iron range of Minnesota.

The broad landscapes created by Tom Russell for Mesabi are inhabited by characters we all know - Bob Dylan, James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor - and some we may not: the now-obscure, once well-known singer Cliff ‘Ukulele Ike’ Edwards, the tragic Disney child star Jimmy Driscoll and the character actor Sterling Hayden.

Mesabi was the 26th album from an artist whose songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, among others. No less than Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet, has said that he shares ‘a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America’.

As always with Tom’s shows, expect some extraordinary stories and songs from one of the masters of contemporary songwriting. Call Flowerfield on (028) 7083 1400 for details.