Tom Russell came originally from Los Angeles and lived for many years in El Paso. He sketched both cities through the dual lenses of Orson Welles's movie camera and a dying relationship in the masterpiece "Touch of Evil." Tom Russell, says Ark volunteer George Allen, "can tell a story about anything." He's written vivid historical songs, ambitious portraits of love gone wrong, big Nashville hits, slices of barroom gloom, anthems of social commentary, profound religious statements ("Blue Wing"), a career-making song about an epic cockfight … you name it! Says the San Francisco Chronicle: "Tom Russell is the last wandering Beat…a prolific and venerable artist writing the best songs of his career." Tom Russell 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. Best of all, he comes to Michigan with a new release, "October in the Railroad Earth," which he describes as "Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash in Bakersfield."