Newsletter – November 22, 2014 – Symphony Hall, Video Documentary and more!

Newsletter – November 22, 2014 – Symphony Hall, Video Documentary and more!

November 22, 2014

Gang,

In other big news …Click to enlargeIn late breaking news, a list of things that are bad for dogs is making the rounds on the interwebs. Gin is right there near the top. Next to Avocados. So the G&T and guacamole are no longer on the menu, sorry Fido! This of course raises questions: was this study funded by the Bourbon Advisory Board? And it leaves open the issue of whether a dry Pino Grigio would be a better choice to go with kibble and Papaya.

We are hereby announcing a Symphony Hall show at 7:30 PM on Sunday, December 28, just in time to make your holiday shopping list! These shows have been so much fun I just couldn’t NOT do another one. They seem to provide an antidote to, and a refuge from, the frantic tail-chasing that seems to consume us every holiday season. “Not just another thing to be returned to the mall,” as one correspondent wrote, “but an experience to be savored.” People come to have a good time – and they do. The Globe called one of my first shows there, “A magical, precious night,” setting a high bar for me, one I hope I’ve cleared every year since.

This year I’m going to shoulder out more stage time for myself. I have a clutch of new songs, incubated over the summer, hatched and ready to fledge. I’d love to introduce them to you, and I thought Symphony Hall would be the perfect place from which to launch them. A mystical song, a western drama, some love songs – we’ll see how they fly.

I’m putting together an extra-special backup band for the occasion, including the astounding vocal trio Red Molly; Monica Rizzio, front-woman for Tripping Lilly, on fiddle; and the prodigiously-talented Grace Kelly on sax. These artists, besides making me sound better than usual, will step out for a song or two (or three) on their own. My stalwart core band — Joe Mennonna on piano and sax, Paul Guzzone on bass and Marshal Rosenberg on percussion — will of course be on stage with me.

DVD - Tom Rush: No RegretsThe Symphony Hall show will also be the Release Party for the video documentary on me that Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman have been laboring on for the past few years, “Tom Rush- No Regrets.” It’s been shown in various iterations at festivals (it took Best NH Documentary at the NH Film Fest) and screenings around New England, and it’s been tweaked and tucked and is finally final, pressed onto shiny DVDs and ready to go. (It won’t be out in the marketplace until early next year, but you, because you’re special, can get a copy or two online at TomRush.com.

And one more thing: we got a late start announcing the show. I would sure welcome your help if you felt inclined to post any of this on Facebook (or Tumblr – Tweeting is also encouraged) or forward this note on to your buddies. Many thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and be grateful you don’t live in Buffalo!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

–– Robert A. Heinlein

 

Newsletter – November 7, 2014 – PROBLEM SOLVED!!

Newsletter – November 7, 2014 – PROBLEM SOLVED!!

November 7, 2014

Gang,

Problem solved! I mentioned in my last missive that I was shrinking at a rate that, if it kept up apace, would have me disappearing altogether in 350 years. Desperation is the mother of invention (or something like that) and I’ve come up with a plan. If I eat copious amounts of chocolate and gain in girth what I’m losing in height, disaster can be averted. I’ve already begun — it seems to be working.

But there’s a new problem (it always works that way, doesn’t it?). Logic dictates that in 350 years, when my height has been squished down to zero, my waistline will necessarily have been squashed out to infinity. (I will not exist at all vertically, but will be infinite in the horizontal plane, which presents the question — can infinity be the same thing as zero?) This may 1) entail the destruction of the observable universe (hey … I’m sorry, OK?), or 2) nobody will even notice. In any event it will make it damned near impossible to get a seat on an airplane.

We all have plenty of time to get ready, so let’s focus on the near future:

The video documentary on yours truly, “Tom Rush — No Regrets,” is almost ready for release. For those of you in the greater Danbury, CT, area, there will be a screening Friday night, the 7th (tonight), at the Palace Theatre (you know it’s a classy joint because they spell it that way). Curtain’s at 8:00PM, but there’s a complimentary wine and cheese reception in the lobby starting at 7:00. Rob Stegman, the co-director and co-producer, and I will be there for a Q&A session after the movie, and maybe a couple of songs. (I’ll do the songs — Rob doesn’t sing as much as he ought to.)

Thursday the 13th it’s back to CT for the Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk, a great venue with a LOT of history. Built in 1883 and exquisitely renovated, it’s reputedly haunted by a ghost named Vivian. I always dedicate a song to her, just to be on the safe side. Guitar wizard Adrian Legg is also on the bill and I’m hoping he’ll teach me a couple of licks.

Friday, the 14th will be the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA, (also a very classy joint, the spelling notwithstanding). One of my favorite stops; I only get there every few years, so it will be great to catch up with my Pennsylvania buddies.

And Sunday, the 15th I’ll be back at the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn, NY, an absolutely stunning piece of architecture that also has great acoustics. (And I’ll get to tell my Unitarian joke!)

And we’re ON for Symphony Hall in Boston, Sunday, December 28 — mark your calendars. I’m not quite ready to announce who my guests will be, but I guarantee a night to remember! (Tickets are not yet available)

Thanks for reading. Get your firewood in, or head south.

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Link of the month: Doctors Without Borders seems to be one organization that’s addressing the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in an effective way. It’s in all our interests to support them every way we can! http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Newsletter – October 5, 2014 – NUDE PHOTOS STOLEN!!

Newsletter – October 5, 2014 – NUDE PHOTOS STOLEN!!

October 5, 2014

Gang,

I’ve never been one to be left behind by the latest trends in show business. Nude pictures of me were stolen from the Cloud last week!! In this case, however, they were quickly returned along with some crude and rather uncharitable comments. Such is life. (They were taken when I was two, but still ….)

 

In other news, I had a routine doctor’s appointment the other day; the nurse measured me and informed me that I’d shrunk two inches. (In height, for God’s sake. You should be ashamed of yourself!) This was alarming news. Mind you, this is over a 10-year period, but it’s still upsetting. And don’t try to comfort me with talk about my towering intellect. (You were going to say something like that, weren’t you?)

When I was a lad being six feet tall made you a big guy. With kids now it’s on the short side of medium, so I am becoming ever more shrimp-like. But what’s truly alarming is that, according to my calculations, if this trend continues in 350 years I will have disappeared altogether! That’s just not something I can live with.

I will assuage my angst with travel. There’s nothing like being crammed into a hermetically sealed aluminum tube with hundreds of strangers, then hurtled through the stratosphere at near the speed of sound to give you a sense of calm and wellbeing.

Before I tell you about the upcoming gigs, a final note: I’ve been tapped to play at several college and school reunions this coming spring. I’m very much looking forward, because reunion crowds definitely know how to have a good time, and that’s a flow I can go with. If you happen to be on the Entertainment Committee, I’m throwing my hat in the ring!

Next Wednesday, the 8th, I’ll be at the fabulous Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. I’ve played MIM once before and it is truly a GREAT venue (and museum)!

Thursday the 9th will be the always-welcoming Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, one of my favorite West Coast stops.

On Friday the 10th we start getting into new territory: The City Winery, a sparkling new venue in Napa, CA. I’ve played their New York City room and it was fabulous!

Saturday will be the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station, CA. I’ve not been there before, but from the website and the scuttlebutt it is a very happening place.

Last, but far from least, Harlow’s in Sacramento &emdash; another new stop for me, one to which I’m really looking forward.

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you down the road real soon!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”

–– Mark Twain

Newsletter – July 16, 2014 – The Happy Bug

Newsletter – July 16, 2014 – The Happy Bug

July 16, 2014

Why is it that all our viruses and bacteria make us sick and miserable? I know, of course, that at any given moment we each happily coexist with some 5 pounds of benign bacteria who are either helping us out or just along for the ride. But my question is: why hasn’t good old Mother Nature come up with a bug that makes us feel good with no downside? It would be very adaptive, as they say in biological circles. Everybody would want to catch that infection; that particular bacterium would be very much in demand, a superstar among single-celled organisms.

Tom with Uke and Sherlock, 1951

Now, individually these little one-celled or no-celled organisms (or whatever describes a virus, which isn’t even technically alive) aren’t very smart because, you see, they have no brains. But collectively they can be fiendishly clever, outsmarting entire pharmaceutical conglomerates staffed with geniuses. Phalanxes of doctors are helpless battling with these little demons, who are way too small to even see. Now, I know they don’t subscribe to my newsletter and most of them can’t even read (the bacteria, not the doctors), so I’m jut putting this idea out there, hoping that it might somehow get through:It could be argued, of course, that yeast already occupy that niche and have us working for them simply by providing bread and alcohol—a simpler but arguably more cost-effective version of the bread and circuses that the Roman emperors employed to keep the masses in line. But I still think there is room for a bacterium delirium that would simply make us feel better instead of worse. Making us sick would seem like a really dumb survival strategy—the unwelcome houseguest gambit. If you want to be invited to stick around you bring presents and make yourself useful. But most of these little buggers bring garbage and make unreasonable demands.

Mother Nature, if you’re listening, I think a feel-good bug would be a big hit, and I’d like you to send me some as soon as they’re ready.

Coming Up:

Tomorrow night, Thursday July 17th: Natick, MA, Center for the Arts Natick (TCAN for short).
Friday the 18th: The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate for short)
Saturday the 19th: back to TCAN (see above)
Monday the 21st: Music on the River, Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, CT. FREE SHOW outdoors at 6:30 (with an indoor backup location in case of rain).

Come if you can, if not send a friend. Summer’s happening – let’s have some fun!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, much quicker, than any germ.”

–– Henry David Thoreau

Newsletter – June 22, 2014 – The Next Diet Fad

Newsletter – June 22, 2014 – The Next Diet Fad

June 22, 2014

Gang,

A fellow recently sent me an email about his aged cat who had stopped eating and was losing weight. The vet told him the problem was dementia. My initial reaction was to feel sorry for the poor beast and its owner. (Actually “owner” is not right. It is truly said that dogs have owners, cats have staff.)

But then the thunderbolt hit. “Eureka!” I cried, “I’m rich!” Fad diets have for the past hundred years been making their promoters obscenely wealthy, at least up to the point where they are discredited and sent to jail, or have to change their names and leave the country. Dementia-Slim™ is in development as I write this and the boys in the lab are working around the clock to find a way of inducing a slenderizing dementia that does not involve getting old, ingesting illegal substances or having a teenage daughter. (It’s rumored that the Don’t-Eat-So-Much diet is surprisingly effective, but it’s never really caught on.)

In other news, we still haven’t settled on a place to settle, but are out and about looking at schools and communities in New England. (We truly appreciate all the generous, insightful responses to my last missive about finding a place, but none turned into a Plan of Action.) Stay tuned!

No Regrets film poster

Coming up:

A Private Party in New York City on Thursday, June 26. (All I’ve been told so far is that “it’s in a restaurant.” I’m hoping they get more specific soon—I seem to recall that Manhattan has several restaurants and it might take a while to find the right one.)

Wolfeboro, NH, Great Waters Music Festival, Friday, June 27th. It’s gonna be great, but it’s sold out—sorry!

And best of all … the video documentary on me that’s been in the works of the past couple of years is finally ready for its coming-out party! (An early cut won Best NH Documentary at the NH Film Fest in Portsmouth last October, but now it’s really, really ready.) If you possibly can come by the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA on Saturday, June 28. The screening’s at 8PM followed by a few songs and a Q&A session with yours truly and the film makers, Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman This should be fun!

And enjoy the first days of Summer!

Tom Rush signature

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.” – Anne Lamott

P.S. – I’m on the road for the next few weeks and may not be able to respond to any replies to this. Please forgive me! TR

Newsletter – April 21, 2014 – Network of Spies

Newsletter – April 21, 2014 – Network of Spies

April 21, 2014

Gang,

Sugaring season is just about over here and people are taking down the gear. (My entire crop amounted to about a pint of syrup.) But I spotted the bucket pictured here hung on a local telephone pole. I think the NSA has just gone too far this time!

Speaking of networks of spies, I need to recruit my own personal web — you! Due to a bewildering swirl of circumstances we unexpectedly need to MOVE. I won’t burden you with the details, but there’s a novel in there, or maybe a sit-com. And no, it’s not the Witness Protection Program thing again — they gave up on me some time ago.

The long and the short is that we’re looking for a place to rent for three years, somewhere in the Northeast, on the water (ocean? lake? My bride and child are half-mermaid and need large expanses of H2O to feel at home). And we need a really good high school within commuting distance; public or private, but we favor a Day school over Boarding. The Kid is going into 10th grade, is super-bright (doesn’t get it from me) and needs challenges in a supportive and inspiring environment. She’s into the arts (including the performing arts, God help us!) and humanities, not so much the sports side of things.

And we need to accomplish all this by the end of May. That last is the scary part — we have 5 WEEKS to pull this off! Any and all serious suggestions will be considered. The finder’s fee for a winning entry: a FREE HOUSE CONCERT!!! We’re serious about needing some help here. Start spying!

On the road again this weekend:

Thursday the 24th in North Easton, MA at the Oakes Ames Hall, a very cool old building. Last time sold out, so don’t dawdle.

Friday the 25th at the Players Theater in Peterborough, NH. Always sold out in the past (but I don’t want to jinx it).

Saturday the 26th, a Common Fence concert at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Never been there before, very much looking forward!

Sunday the 27, a benefit concert for WUMB in Boston. A great radio station that just happens to play a lot of our kind of music. SOLD OUT!

Monday the 28, the White River Junction Indie Film Fest is screening “For The Love Of The Music” and Jim Rooney and I will be doing a song or two after the movie, answering questions as long as they’re not to hard, like, “What’s the capital of South Dakota?”

Enjoy the Spring! I’m going to get back to putting things in boxes now.

All the best,

Tom
Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“If I’d have known how much packing I’d have to do, I’d have run again.”

— Harry S. Truman

Newsletter – April 3, 2014 – The Mysteries of Medical Terminology.

Newsletter – April 3, 2014 – The Mysteries of Medical Terminology.

April 3, 2014

Gang,

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with “Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” and it got me to wondering about medical terminology. I mean, these guys go to school for decades just so they can get to name conditions like this. If they’re really lucky they may get to have their very own name indelibly associated with some horribly depressing condition!

But are they telling my friend his bowel is grumpy? (And shouldn’t it be plural?) Are they going to be able to restore him to a Cheerful Bowel Condition? (“Sunny Bowel” probably wouldn’t work since that is, after all, “where the sun don’t shine.”) Other candidates might be “Up-Beat,” “Jolly” or “Perky Bowel.” But think about it: if you were a bowel wouldn’t you be grumpy? I mean, given what you’d have to deal with day in, day out? It would be enough to put anybody in a bad mood! I’m just sayin’ … it’s something to think about.

After a blissful month at home with the family I’m off on the road again with a couple of new songs, heading southward.

Friday, April 4th is the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA. 7 PM show.

Saturday, April 5th, the The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. 7:30 PM show.

Sunday, April 6th, the Rams Head, Annapolis, MD. 7:30 PM show.

 

Spring is coming — hang in there!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “They certainly give very strange names to diseases.” – Plato

Newsletter – February 16, 2014 – Words You Can’t Say

Newsletter – February 16, 2014 – Words You Can’t Say

February 16, 2014

Gang,

I was recently at a radio station getting ready to do an interview to promote an upcoming show. While I was tuning up, waiting for the show’s host to appear, a young lady came in and handed me a piece of paper. “We’ll need your signature on this before air-time,” she said, and walked out again.

It was the FCC “Language Agreement,” enumerating in excruciating detail all the words you’re not supposed to say on the radio. My first thought was to jauntily tell them, “You missed a couple,” but after a careful reading I honestly could not think of a single vulgarity they’d left out, and I have a pretty good vocabulary. (I’m not bragging or anything, but fifty years on the road with musicians, technicians and teamsters can be very educational.)

A couple of questions were raised by this. What if the person going on the air was as prudish as the FCC apparently thinks the listeners are? Wouldn’t they be too shocked and offended to carry on? And what if the person was underage? Would not the FCC be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, teaching them words they’re not supposed to know (but undoubtedly do)? And what if …

I was pondering these weighty matters when the young lady returned to retrieve the form. I told her I’d left my glasses in the car and asked if she’d please read the page to me. After all, I can’t be expected to sign something if I don’t know what it is, now can I? She looked at the paper, opened her mouth to speak, closed it again, looked at me, looked at the paper. She seemed a bit flushed (perhaps overwhelmed at being so close to a star of my magnitude?), and left the room hurriedly. Apparently it was determined that my signature was not necessary after all because I heard no more about it.

In other news:

The hit kid’s video of the Fish Story Song is now available free-for-nothing on our YouTube channel. (It’s an odd thing – kids love it, grownups love it, but between about 5th and 12th grades there’s a period where they think it’s “too childish.”) If you like it, the actual DVD contains extra stuff: me reading the story of Paul Bunyan and the Grizzly, and the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, along with some very cool drawings by Jocelyn Slack.

And upcoming shows:

Wednesday, February 19th, at the Ark in Ann Arbor – a great room.
Thursday I’ll be at the Folk Alliance gathering in Kansas City – the first time I’ve been able to attend this conference which is becoming a Big Deal in the music world.
Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago – a great organization with music lessons, an outreach program for school kids, on and on.
Saturday I’ll be in Stoughton, WI at the Opera House – never been there before, but I’m told it’s a glorious old theater that the town has lovingly (and expensively) refurbished.

And then at the end of the month/beginning of March:

Thursday, February 27th, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA – another great old room.
And, finally, on Saturday, March 1st, Town Hall in Woodstock, VT, a place I’ve played many times, and had a great time every time!

Thanks for reading. Stay warm!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

–– Mark Twain

Newsletter – December 20, 2013 – From the mouth of babes

Newsletter – December 20, 2013 – From the mouth of babes

late December, ‘13
Gang,

Years ago, when he was but a tyke, my boy Benjamin was asked in school to write a short piece about what he would like the world to have for Christmas, and then what he would like for himself. After long and careful thought he said he would like the world to be a beautiful and peaceful place and wanted everybody to love each other and get along without fighting. For himself, on the other hand, he desired the GI Joe Hovercraft fully decked out with rocket launchers, machine guns and flamethrowers. And that, in a nutshell, seems to be the problem. Something to work on in the New Year!

In late-breaking news: Some top-tier seats have just opened up for the Symphony Hall show on Saturday the 28th (Donald Trump can’t make it after all). Several other sections are sold out already. These tickets, of course, are the most tasteful and exciting gifts possible, so don’t dawdle! (If the Box Office can’t mail them out on time, not to worry — they’ll just hold them at the ticket window.)

Club 47 DVD CoverAlso, the video documentary about the original Club 47 and the Cambridge folk scene in the ’60s, “For The Love Of The Music,” has just come out and is available in DVD or Blu Ray. And the very nicely done DVD/CD set recorded at last year’s show, “Tom Rush Celebrates 50 Years of Music,” is by far the most popular item at the web store. (Both fit nicely in stockings!)

It’s time to thank all the folks who have helped me get through the year in style. Mr. Dan Beach runs TomRush.com with a firm and elegant hand, never letting me drift too far from my moorings. Andrea Sabata and all the good people at Skyline Music find me fun gigs to do (sometimes a few too many, but I won’t complain). The troops at Nimbit do a great job of fulfilling orders at the web store. Tim Burke tends the vending table at most of my shows with boundless energy, setting up the most beautiful displays. Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman make great videos of all sorts, including the videos mentioned above, and have provided essential support in mounting this year’s Symphony Hall show. Jim Musselman and Alan Edwards at Appleseed Recordings do a fabulous job at getting the music (and the word) out. And my family. Ah, my family! They haven’t yet kicked me out. (It’s not easy being me, but being related to me can be pure hell!)

And of course you, the Gang, who make all of this possible by supporting my various projects and explorations, some of which actually turn out to have been good ideas. Then there are the others, but we won’t talk about that just now.

Thanks for reading, and have the warmest and happiest of holidays!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Link of the month: Our favorite holiday music here at the Rush household is the Yule Ties CD from our old Jackson Hole buddies, Loose Ties. Check it out: For an actual CD go to http://tinyurl.com/m3xt7cb and buy direct from the artists. For a download, go to http://tinyurl.com/mcnkpom