All the way back in the 70’s, folk singer/cowboy poet Tom Russell made his initial foray into recorded music, cutting a pair of albums with vocalist/pianist Patricia Hardin for Mountain View, CA-based Demo Records. The first of the pair – “Ring Of Bone” was issued in 1976 and the follow-up, “Wax Museum” was released a couple of years later.

I don’t know much of anything about these two records, but here’s what I can tell you – both Russell and Hardin were on a pretty sweet jag when they entered an Austin studio to record “Ring Of Bone.” Both had taken New Folk honors at the Kerrville Folk Festival the year before, and Hardin followed that by taking the grand prize at the Kerrville Country & Western Songwriters competition that shortly followed. Russell was also a semi-finalist for that award. Feeling an album was the next logical step, Mike Mordecai, an Austin mover-and-shaker at the time (and still is!), put together a band, booked time at Odyssey Sound in Austin and the pair cut the songs that make up “Ring Of Bone” in three days. Critical acclaim followed, including a super nice endorsement from Chet Flippo.

The two decided to decamp to San Francisco, with one of the primary reasons being to hopefully land a record deal. And they almost did. Just another in a long line of industry stories that end with the artist getting hosed, as Vanguard had a deal on the table and then pulled that deal when their lawyer got a little cute in regards to revisions/alterations to the contract. The two moved forward, self-recording their second album with Bernie Krauss producing before going their separate ways shortly after releasing the album. It must have been a brutal period for Russell, as it was several years later before he was heard from again. At least, from a recording perspective.

In the mid 90’s, Hardin actually released both albums on one CD, though had to drop one song from each album to make all the songs fit on one disc. The LP configuration for either title is, as you might imagine, crazy scarce. In light of this record being 35 years old (!), it’s in amazing shape. A very small, light top right corner crease and some rubbing on the bottom right corner. Otherwise, super, super nice. And again, still sealed! $150.

You can find it here…

Also should eventually turn up on Gemm; apparently taking a while to upload my new file.