Back on the road. At least 60 in a row. This is my terrain. Querencia. We began in Tucson at the Congress Hotel; stayed there at the historic old railroad palace. The Congress bar is called the Tap Room; a bronc rider named Pete Martinez used to trade drawings for drinks. The drawings are still on the wall. Bony broncs and rank steers. Cowboys with cigarette butts in their mouths. Some nights the drinks are still a dollar a piece. The Margaritas are very excellant. Pete Martinez reminds me of the story of Guy Welch, the Picasso of the western saloon and whorehouse, who drove up and down the 1940's West, from Mexicali to Calgary, painting cowboy murals on saloon walls, in exchange for beer and a bed, and the odd dollar. Back in the Congress Hotel, John Dillinger was fleeing with the other guests during a fire... Dillinger bribed a fireman to go back up and retrieve the bags. Machine guns and stolen money fell to the street and Dillinger was caught. He later broke out of jail with a gun carved out of soap.
Onward we went to Las Cruces and the Rio Grande Theatre, which was full to capacity. And then to Santa Fe, where the streets are full of Indian Santos carved for the Indian Market. It feels good to be back on the road; trying out new songs. As Townes said "Living on the road my friend, is bound to keep you free and clean. Now you wear your skin like iron, and your breath's as strong as kerosene..." Or as Lowell George might say: "I'm still Willin'." Next stop Edmonton Folk Festival, and please check out the new face of our website at www.tomrussell.com with new art work. We're going for a more user-friendly approach. Now we're off to a gig at a detox center. With that in mind, might I recommend one of the best music books ever written: Art Pepper's "Straight Life." You might enjoy that journey, and it was a rough one. Adios....TR