With Michael Martin, Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh

By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

April 12, 2007

6 p.m. April 15 at Turner Hall, 307 West Second Street, Mount Olive. $20. 1-217-999-7674 or e-mail

Tom Russell's annual visit promises to be special for several reasons, not the least of which is that his stunning CD "Love and Fear" has revealed deeper colors after a year of repeated listening. Guitar and mandolin accompanist Michael Martin, a rookie a year ago, has had time to cross-pollinate influences with Russell. And singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters, whose voice enchanted "Love and Fear" and Russell's show at Off Broadway last spring, will be back with keyboard player Barry Walsh. And finally, for the first time the show will be in Mount Olive, a 45-minute drive from St. Louis into the Illinois stomping grounds of Ed Becker, a Russell pal, KDHX "Songwriters Showcase" spinner and fledgling promoter. Russell will be playing some new songs, including "The Death of Jimmy Martin," which he recorded with Merle Haggard guitarist Redd Volkaert for a new CD this year. That CD, "The Wounded Heart of America," also will feature Russell songs covered by other artists, including the rare "Veteran's Day" by Johnny Cash and "Haley's Comet" by Doug Sahm and the Texas Tornados.