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The cowboy at the Sportsmen's

Buzz had no business being out the night before Thanksgiving. There were pies to make. There was the house to clean.

But still. We went out and caught Tom Russell's act at the Sportsmen's Tavern. 

What a show! Russell is a wonderful songwriter. There was not a huge crowd so it was intimate. He started out with "Guadalupe," a beautiful song about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

He ended with his raucous song "Tonight We Ride." After that there was an encore because people would not stop yelling for one.

Russell travels with his wife, who is from Switzerland and appears to keep him on the straight and narrow. He made a big deal about how she makes him tea with organic honey -- not easy to finesse at the Sportsmen's, he joked, but she did it.

At the end of the night he not only teased Buzz about the interview we did with him, but we spied him asking for a double at the bar. And he downed it real quick.

So much for that tea.

In a split second his wife was at his side, disapproving. But he got that double down!

Tom Russell is on his way tonight to Toronto. It is not Thanksgiving in Toronto tomorrow night and so that is where his next gig is. Meanwhile, the quotable Tom Russell:

"Are those seats $30 too?" (Gesturing up toward the Sportsmen's balcony.)

(Tickets to the Sportsmen's show were $30.)

"I was in downtown Buffalo. I know what goes on, because I'm an old criminologist. I saw transactions. ... There were people selling crack. But I said no, because I had a show tonight."

"We'll be signing things, preferably CDs. If you have to shoplift 'em, do it."

And, from "Tonight We Ride":

"You don't need no teeth for kissing gals or smoking cheap cigars. I'll sleep with one eye open, 'neath God's celestial stars... And if we drink ourselves to death, ain't that the cowboy way to go? Tonight we ride, boys, tonight we ride."

Dear Tom Russell.

Tonight he rides!

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