Cowboy philosopher Russell reaches into the psyche of the beat generation in his follow-up to 1999's The Man From God Knows Where. It's an eerily intimate experience that'll leave you feeling like you've just spent a lost weekend with Charles Bukowski. Mixing in authentic snippets of narration from Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce and Bukowski himself, Russell floats in the background picking away at his guitar and adding great atmospheric tension to the stories. Bukowski drinking buddy and carnival huckster Little Jack Horton steals the show with his stories of wild alcohol- and amphetamine-fuelled nights that'll scare you straight. While his own songs are well arranged, it's Russell's ability to integrate narrative into the soundscape that makes Hotwalker an indispensable beat reverie.
Tom Russell plays Hugh's Room Friday (March 25).