Another Song & “The Cable Guy Comeith”

Another Song & “The Cable Guy Comeith”


Just settling into my summer writing retreat, getting things hooked up. Have you ever noticed that every single cable guy who comes to do an install or repair says he can’t believe the last guy did it that way? I suspect surgeons feel the same but have the good sense to keep it to themselves. Presidents, on the other hand, behave more like cable guys.

Gearing up for my annual trip to the Other Coast — 5 shows in CA, one in AZ, back home. I thought things were supposed to slow down at a certain age. I guess I’m not there yet.

Read the full story . . .

Photographs for Voices Album, Tom Rush 2017

New Song

April 2019


Just a quick note. I’ve been doing a lot of writing in the past weeks and have even more new songs to try out on audiences this weekend and next (along with the old favorites, of course. (A song is never “done”, in my mind, until it’s tried out on a real, live audience — the only kind I play for.) Here’s a clip from one of my favorites, done at the kitchen table: Nothing But A Man. This only for you folks on the email list, because you’re special!!

Coming right up:

Friday, April 5th, Wrentham, MA, the OCC Coffee House
Saturday, April 6th, Plymouth, MA, the Spire Center

And next weekend:
Friday, April 12th, Brownfield, ME, Stone Mountain Arts Center (SMAC)
Saturday, April 13th, Willington, CT, the Packing House

Matt Nakoa will be along on all these shows, and he has a new CD to tell you about!

Spring is struggling to arrive — rejoice and help it along!!

All the best,

Tom Rush

Tom Rush


Quote of the month: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” 
— Robin Williams

Birthday Resolutions

Birthday Resolutions


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!

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:; 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 ( 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!)


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 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!


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

Recent praise for Voices

Recent praise for Voices

Tom Rush is a walking encyclopedia of American Song…. at 77 he’s found his own muse, and it’s really beautiful. I mean the album is just a joyful warm expression of life, it just feels lived in and it feels like something you can live with –– and his voice is still beautiful…. this wonderful album Voices has the feeling of a gift.

Robin Hilton & Anne Powers –– All Songs Considered, NPR [12:25]


[A] true elder statesman of folk and singer songwriter stuff, it’s a fact he never will just crank them out. However when he does venture into a studio, he certainly has something to say, that is always very musical and flat-out feels real good. Voices upholds the “I’m-in-no-rush tradition.”

Ken Spooner —


Voices is Tom Rush in splendid form. If you know Rush’s music … I don’t have to tell you they are wondrous creations. They stand up under as many listenings as you care to subject them over years and decades…. If you don’t know the guy, Voices is as good as any place to get acquainted. Afterwards, you don’t have to thank me. Just treat yourself to more from his admirable body of work, and then rejoice that the man is still among us.

Jerome Clark ––


The CD’s closing title track [‘Voices’] invokes the eternal music of life, the songbook of sounds that surround us, felt if not often heard, and “the songs that sing the truest are in the key of love,” a life lesson cherished and passed along.

Roger Wink ––



This is a great record, brimming with wonderful melodies, lyrics, and performances. It’s stripped down and mostly easygoing, with simple string arrangements, a touch of piano, and a rhythm section. At the age of 77, Rush, through his characters, comes across as relaxed, content, and comfortable with how things have turned out in his long career.

Ed Symkus ––

Voices is the first album ever of all-Rush originals, ten relaxed, warmhearted, amused and sometimes thoughtful songs that perfectly reflect Tom’s wry persona…. As on Rush’s previous studio album, 2009’s What I Know (Appleseed), his first studio release in 35 tour-filled years, his smiling, understated delivery, and exemplary skills as an acoustic guitarist are sympathetically framed by a crew of Nashville-based studio musicians helmed by musician-turned-Grammy-Award-winning producer Jim Rooney…

Troy Michael ––


Like a comfortable pair of overalls or a warm blanket on a chilly night, Tom’s music may be comforting but that doesn’t mean that he plays it safe. On Voices – the first album in his career consisting almost entirely of originals – Tom Rush presents an album that embraces the spirit of his early recordings with the maturity that time has graced him with…. More than five decades on, Tom Rush is still creating music that springs from his heart and sings to the hearts of others.

Stephen Schnee ––


The best news is that he’s composing not only frequently but well indeed. Rush told me in an email that he considers Voices “my best work (so far),” and I’m inclined to agree. There are wise and touching love songs (“Far Away,” “Life Is Fine”) and poetic meditations (the title cut)…. Throughout, Rush is backed by a fine combo, and his vocals are just as rich and compelling as they were on the best of his earlier albums.

Voices album review – Jeff Burger –



Essential 8: Tom Rush:

Tom Rush Listens to Countryside “Voices” in His New Single –

Tom Rush on His Heroes and Letting Songs Happen –

Folk artist and NH native Tom Rush lets his own songwriting do the talking on the upcoming album –

Tom Rush, Legendary Folk Singer/Song-Finder, Readies ‘Voices,’ First Album Of Originals –

“An Ode To Our State In Music”: A Humorous article which includes ‘If I never get back to Hackensack’ – Steven March –


To Do Lists

To Do Lists


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.


The Paul Leslie Hour Episode #85 – Tom Rush

The Paul Leslie Hour Episode #85 – Tom Rush

Paul Leslie spends time talking to Tom, reflecting on his process and digs into the backstory of his new album “Voices”.