A video of Tom performing “Far Away” from his new album “Voices”. Aired July 11, 2018, on WGBH Boston.
Tom Rush is a walking encyclopedia of American Song…. at [the age of] 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.
[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.”
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.