Birthday Resolutions

Birthday Resolutions

Gang,

Sorry for the long silence. I thought life was supposed to slow down at a certain point, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

My life as a sit-com: This may be an extreme case of TMI, but I have a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow. I’ll be staying tonight with a friend in the Boston area and he’s hosting a huge Super Bowl party — lots of food, lots of beer! My instructions are adamant that I can’t have solid food or alcohol all day today. And, the best part — I have to start drinking the dreaded prep poison, 8 oz every 10 minutes, starting precisely at kickoff. You think Tom Brady has challenges — I’ll be doing more running than he does!

On a more cheerful note, there are a bunch of really talented musicians in Kittery Maine who from time to time get together, call themselves the Rushmores, and do an evening of Tom Rush songs — their own arrangements, not copies of my renditions. Last year they hired the Kittery Dance Hall around my birthday to do such an evening, not knowing that I lived very nearby. I crashed the party and we ended up doing a song together at the end of the night.

They’re doing it again this year, on my actual birthday, this Friday, February 8th, and although I no longer live nearby I’m again going to crash. Kittery is just over the river from Portsmouth, NH, where I was born, so it really has some resonance for me. Kittery Dance Hall, 7:30PM, Friday, February 8th — come on by!!

And, in further observance of my birthday, I’m hereby officially announcing my First Annual Farewell Tour. (Why be coy? There are acts out there that have been doing farewell tours for 15 years! And I’ve got a kid in college — can’t quit anytime soon, let’s be realistic.) So all the dates for 365 days starting on 2/8 will be part of the First Annual, then we’ll roll seamlessly into the Second Annual. (I’m thinking of working up a series of commemorative hats: “First Annual Farewell Tour … collect them all!!”)

And I’m hatching yet another harebrained scheme … but more on that in the next newsletter.

That’s all for now — stay warm, try to behave!


Tom Rush

Quotes of the Month:

“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.” –– Bob Hope

“To me old age is always ten years older than I am.” –– Bernard Baruch

“I intend to live forever. So far so good.” –– Steven Wright

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” –– Satchel Paige

Holiday Cheers!

Holiday Cheers!

Gang,
I hope you all survived Thanksgiving (and avoided talking politics with Uncle Stan), and Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. It’s been a busy week! But now you can relax because all your holiday preparations are done, right? Right? Well, OK, neither are mine.

A couple of helpful hints: TomRush.com; is always a great place to look for smaller gifts (the new album, Voices, in particular).

AND, for a larger gift for that guitar player on your list, Mackenzie & Marr is having a spectacular sale on the (https://www.macmarr.com/store/tom-rush-naked-lady) guitar right now — 40% off. I may have to buy a couple myself!.

 

Also, if you’re still feeling charitable after Giving Tuesday, there are so many good causes these days, because there’s so much need! A couple of my favorites are Heifer International, based on the premise that animals — a cow, a goat, chickens, rabbits — can make a critical difference in a struggling family’s life. And APOPO, which trains Gambian Pouched Rats to locate derelict landmines in old war zones. You can have a rat named after whomever you like. (We gave one to Jim Braude at WGBH Radio — there is now a pouched rat named Jim Braude doing lifesaving work out there!)

Shows:

I’m girding my loins for the last shows of the year, a bit of a Marathon — seven concerts in ten days. I can handle it; after all, I’m young and strong. The fabulous Matt Nakoa will be along on all of these, playing breathtaking keyboards, singing soaring harmonies — and helping with the driving. Here we go:

Full listing

Feel free to forward this to anyone you think might like to attend one of these shows — a good time guaranteed!

If I don’t get back to you before the end of the year I want to thank you very sincerely for your support and stamina. You make it possible for me to do what I love to do — make music for you! And many, many thanks to Team Tom —Andrea, Katy, Marilyn and all the crew at Skyline Music; Rob Stegman who keeps the webstore neat and tidy; my boy, Ben Rush, who designed and runs the esthetically-delightful yet highly-functional TomRush.com website; Ryan Schmidt who pitches in to help with assorted web projects; and, of course, my family, who tolerate all this foolishness!

All the best,


Tom Rush

 

Quote of the month:

“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.” –– Henny Youngman

I Voted!

I Voted!

Gang,

I voted and hope you did too. If you didn’t you have forfeited all rights to bitch about what happens for the next two years. The rest of us will retain the right to bitch no matter what happens.

Has anyone ever adequately explained Daylight Savings Time? Of course, that’s in the summer, and what we’ve got now is … what? Just “Time?” It’s easy enough to reset your watch, but resetting your brain can take weeks.

And why? I think I remember being told at some point that it was to keep schoolchildren waiting at bus stops from being eaten by wolves in the morning darkness, and if that’s true it’s been very effective. Of course, no schoolchildren were eaten before Daylight Savings, either, so there really hasn’t been a net gain.

I propose that they don’t go far enough, and that we should set our clocks back by twelve hours. Then we can all work all night and sleep all day. Or pretend that we’re in New Zealand — which is looking better and better all the time!

I’m about to bring a month of delightful indolence to a close and hit the road again. All these shows are with the uber-talented Matt Nakoa accompanying me on keyboards and harmony vocals — and doing some songs on his own. He’s a treat, and if you haven’t experience Matt, here’s your chance!

Coming very soon to a venue near you…

  • This Saturday, 11/10, the Narrows in Fall River, MA, a wonderful former-manufacturing space. You can feel the energy of the long-gone machines and workers (and the sound and lighting and seating is marvelous!).

Then off to the Midwest:

  • Thursday, 11/15 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati, OH. I’ve not been there before, but have heard great things and am very much looking forward to it.
  • Friday, 11/17 in Traverse City, MI at the City Opera House, another first visit for me. Then on to …
  • Saturday, 11/18 at Space in Evanston, IL, a great club in Chicago’s northern ‘burbs that I get to every few years.

Full listing

And then, for those of you in New England, there’s a flurry of activity in the first week of December, but more on that later.

Stay warm and stay tuned in. 2020 is just around the corner!


Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.” — Simon Sinek

To Do Lists

To Do Lists

Gang,

I have found that to-do lists are a waste of time. Worse! They make you feel guilty about all the things you didn’t get done that you might have accomplished if only you were a better person. Then there’s the conundrum regarding whether you should put the most important things at the top of the list, or the most urgent even if they’re not all that important. And that gets you into the tangle of agonizing over whether buying the ice cream is actually important, or if it just seems that way. But, ah! Perhaps the most onerous chores should go first, on the theory that once they’re out of the way the rest will seem easy by comparison. (A best-selling book has been written espousing that theory.)

No! It’s all bull-poopy (excuse my language)! My new, improved system is to do whatever I feel like, then put it on a list and check it off. It gives me that glowing sense of accomplishment without wasting half the day agonizing over the illusion that any of it is actually significant in the overall scheme of things.

I will now take this brilliant insight, fluff it up to a 180 page self-help book with illustrations and charts, add a few Zen overtones and make a fortune. Kind of like the “Eat-Whatever-You-Want Diet ”. (I don’t know if that exists, but if not, it will be my sequel.)

The new Voices LP is here!! (It trailed the CD by a couple of months because all the pressing plants on the planet are backed up—an investment opportunity, perhaps!) Don’t have a turntable? Not to worry—it comes with a download-card so you can listen to the music while holding the cover, fondly remembering the time when you did have a turntable, back in college. (I lured Appleseed Recordings out on this limb, and it’s a very limited edition—500 copies and almost 200 of them are gone already to the folks who supported this project on PledgeMusic. Supplies really are limited.


Shows coming up, all with Matt Nakoa:

Thursday, May 3rd, The Ark, Ann Arbor—a great room (we go way back!).

Friday, May 4th, Kent Stage, Kent, OH, with Christine Lavin, one of the funniest people alive!

Saturday, May 5th, the Ohio Folk Festival, Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center, OH (about half an hour north of Columbus). I’ll also be doing a workshop that afternoon at 3:00 PM, titled “The Creative Process”, wherein I will reveal the extent of my ignorance.

Sunday, May 5th, the Fur Peace Ranch, Pomeroy, Oh. This is an outfit run by Jorma Kaukonen. I was going to tell you to get tickets soon because this usually sells out, but I just went online an saw that it’s already sold out. Sorry!

 

Enjoy the spring!


Tom Rush

 

Quote of the Month:

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”

Universally attributed to Mark Twain, though no evidence can be found that he actually wrote or said it, proving the point.

 

Getting Political

Getting Political

Gang,

I try very hard not to get political, on the notion that I’m trying to provide an oasis for folks from whatever problems they’re facing in their lives, a bit of respite from the tribulations. But there comes a point when you just have to speak up.

Read the full story . . .

Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Gang,

Given all the depressing, appalling, frightening, disgusting (I could go on) things that are happening in our world today, I have decided to take refuge in gratitude. Despite all the Bad, every day we are all surrounded by things, people, moments that are wonderful, beautiful, transcendent—and I don’t want to lose sight of them because I’m focused on the nasty stuff.  Read the full story . . .

Behind the scenes recording with Matt Nakoa | Photo Neale Eckstein

Life has been way too busy

Gang,

It’s been a while! Life has been way too busy lately — I thought things were supposed to slow down at this stage of life.

The new album, to be called “Voices,” is nearing completion and should be released early in 2018 (though PledgeMusic supporters will be getting their copies around Christmas). The recording was done in Nashville with Jim Rooney as producer and “Rooney’s Irregulars” as the session players — I couldn’t be happier with the results. Here’s a sample: Elder Green.

The original completion date was in early October, but some of life’s curveballs slowed me down, as they seem to do with alarming regularity. The artwork, and then manufacturing, are the remaining hurdles and we’re knocking them over one at a time.

I’m flying home to Maine as I’m writing this. (Did I mention that we’ve moved, again, this time to Maine? So many moves! This Witness Protection Program isn’t as much fun as you’d think.) Much of Maine is without power at the moment in the aftermath of a violent wind and rain storm that went through while I was in DC and Maryland celebrating Tom Paxton’s 80th birthday and Oscar Brand’s life and career—two very excellent musical parties! The next few days will, I expect, be spent dealing with downed limbs, keeping from freezing (it’s supposed to be several days before the lights come back on) and finding drinkable water.

Upcoming shows (all with the fabulous Matt Nakoa on keyboards):
* Friday, November 3rd, Scituate, MA, at the River Club
* Saturday, November 4th, Fall River, MA, at the Narrows
* Wednesday, November 8th, Cleveland, OH, at the Music Box
* Thursday, November 9th, Minneapolis, MN, at the Dakota
* Saturday, November 11th, Green Lake, WI, at the Thrasher Opera House
* Sunday, November 12th, Chicago, IL, at the Old Town School

Check out the upcoming shows page for details about shows later in the year, and stay tuned for the album-release announcement!

All the best,


Tom Rush

Scattered thought of the month:
I like the line in Elder Green, “He’s got greenbacks, sweet babe, enough to make a man a suit.” I was thinking of having one made for myself, but calculations showed that a 2-piece in $100 bills would take $33,300, a 3-piece $42,800. I’ve determined, then, that I have enough greenbacks, sweet babe, to make a man some shorts. Maybe a thong. Once the kid is out of college. Something to look forward to!

Even More Scattered Thoughts

Even More Scattered Thoughts

Gang,

Just a couple of things for your consideration.

  • Call me a sentimental fool, but it would seem to me that, in the richest nation on earth, the object could be to give more people health insurance, and better, not less and worse. Who benefits?
  • Lately, I’m being inundated with email solicitations for walk-in bathtubs, reverse mortgages, electric stair climbers, annuities, bacteria that will grow me a full head of hair, wrinkle creams, a product enticingly called “SnorBGone” and cannabis gummy bears. Are they trying to tell me something?
  • When a mermaid gets the crabs, it’s serious. Stay away!

What's Wrong with America

What’s Wrong with America (youtube)The new album project is moving forward, thanks to those of you who’ve gone to PledgeMusic and generously participated. The recording part is done (though I may tweak a bit) but the artwork, the manufacturing—all that stuff—remains, and help is still needed and very much appreciated!

Gigs coming up, all with the amazing Mr Matt Nakoa at the keyboards:

  • The Center for the Arts Natick TCAN this Friday and Saturday. Natick, MA. _ –– A very cool room! 
  • The Town Crier in Beacon, NY, this coming Sunday. –– The Crier is hands down the best music club for miles around, we’re hoping that Marshal Rosenberg will be joining us on percussion.

There are even more dates coming up, so check out the upcoming shows page for more details.

Enjoy the summer, don’t forget the sunscreen!

All the best,


Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“To me – old age is always ten years older than I am.”
–– Bernard Baruch

Scattered Thoughts – May 3, 2017

Scattered Thoughts – May 3, 2017

Gang,

The roller coaster picks up speed, and thoughts are even more scattered than usual.

First and foremost, some misguided souls have taken my comments about the Big Record Companies, and how they want your soul and at least one kidney, to apply to the little labels, and to Appleseed in particular. WRONG! There are folks out there like Jim Musselman, running small operations because they love the music, and they are the heroes! I’m only down on the multi-nationals who regard artists as a disposable commodity and profit as the only goal.

Not all Chinese Cresteds are Ugly!
Not all Chinese Cresteds are Ugly!

Second, I got mentioned in the New York Times Science Times section last week. Not because of my towering intellect, or because I discovered a cure for anything (except boredom), but because I was misconstrued—again!—as disparaging a dog, or, more accurately, a breed of dogs.

 

The Ugliest Dog in the World was, for years, a Chinese Crested named Sam, who lived near us in Santa Barbara, and was a source of great civic pride. When an interviewer writing his obituary speculated that Sam, in spite of his looks, was probably very sweet, his owner said, “No, he was a really foul-tempered son of a bitch.” Sam has now gone to his reward and his title has passed on to another, who, hopefully, did not also inherit his temperament. (Our family’s Chinese Cresteds have all been extraordinarily lovely and/or handsome, intelligent and sweet!)

The Pledge Music campaign is hitting its stride! We’ve reached our goal of funding the recording sessions and are now working on paying for the artwork, the manufacturing (we’re going to do an LP as well as the CD!), the promotion and all that stuff you didn’t plan on. We’ve added a cool new enticement (a video greeting from me to your loved one on a special occasion), and for those who still haven’t visited the site, there is still some pretty cool stuff, including rare, out-of-print LPs and cassettes—check it out! (For those of you who have pledged, you’ll be getting exclusive behind-the-scenes from Nashville, including rough mixes and session pictures.)

And for those of you in the Boston area (or who have a computer or smartphone) I’ll be on WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio” 89.7fm, this Friday at 12:30 PM Eastern, with hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Give a listen.

No shows coming up, just recording sessions next week. Send positive energy!

All the best,


Tom Rush

One more scattered thought: It came to me in a vision—why not open up Central Park to logging, oil and gas extraction? It breaks my greedy little heart, seeing all those trees just standing there, going to waste. The Boston Common? Why not? These are, from a certain point of view, wasted resources! I’m just sayin’ …