Please Note: The Post-apocalyptic Fiction section has been moved to Current Affairs

Sing Me A Story, Tell Me A Song

Image via twitter @guensberg image by @gaenorbagley


Gang,

Many, many, many, many thanks to all of you who’ve sent supportive messages. They’ve worked and I am recovered!! I still have a bit of healing to do, but fortunately I am young and strong — my quarantine is up today, Easter Sunday. (I’m not saying for a minute that there’s any deep significance there. Make of it what you will.)

I feel badly that I’ve not been able to reply personally to each and every missive, but I did read them all and loved every one. (And I probably will not be able to make replies for a while — I’m now swamped with all the things that didn’t get done while I was in bed with the bug. An unfortunate image!) I’m a very fortunate guy to have so many people who care!

Please, please, please do stay out of harm’s way. Stay At Home!! This bug has no sense of humor or fairness. We need to protect each other and, most importantly we need to protect the medical workers. They are the ones running toward the danger, and they need our help.

Shows: I screwed up a few days ago and posted some misinformation. Everything through June has been moved down the calendar, some to the fall, some for an entire year (including my eagerly-anticipated trip to the UK in June, now June 2021). But shows from July and onward are still on-schedule. Go to TomRush.com/shows for the latest show-by-show account. We’ll let you know if anything changes.

But for now, because I miss you, I’m going to try to offer you some entertainment in cyber-space (where “going viral” can be a ‘Good Thing™’).

I was half-asleep and the line floated by, “Sing Me A Story, Tell Me A Song.” Seemed like a good idea. We (my cyber-crew and I — I’m from the steam age and am uncomfortable with things that go “beep”) are working to set up a weekly on-line live get-together. The format I’m envisioning is that I’ll pick a song to sing for you, there will be some live Q&A (where I will select the Questions to which I actually have Answers, or for which I am able to make up something interesting), AND then I’ll tell you a Story. This, I think, is the good part.

I’m working on a book about what it’s like to be a travelling musician, and part of that book will be stories of some of the improbable things that have happened over the years and miles. I’ll send out a follow-up newsletter when we’re ready to launch (fasten seatbelts!) and give you a list of story titles (“The Naked Dwarf Tag-Team Wrestling Act.” “Steve Goodman and the Giant Rabbit.” “Clint Eastwood and the Hashish Brownie.” I have two pages-worth of just titles!) and we’ll have a mechanism whereby you can vote for the story you’d like to hear that week, and that’s the one I’ll tell. Could be fun!!

Please, please … stay safe, stay well, Stay At Home!!

Happy Passover, Joyous Easter, Glorious Spring!

All the best,


Tom Rush

 

Quote of the Month: Not a quote really, but a link to a video enhancement of one of my all-time favorite songs from one of my all time favorite albums (of mine), the oft-overlooked New Year from Symphony Hall in Boston in 1981. Tim Jackson, the drummer on the piece and a member of the band for many great years, put some train footage to it and I think it’s lovely: https://vimeo.com/406302565
Thank you Tim! (The playing is all superb, but Bromberg’s Dobro part and Josh Schneider’s sax are … well, give it a listen!)

 

Tom Rush - Singer-Songwriter

Positive COVID test

— Originally sent to email list subscribers March 28

Gang,

I have just tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. I have no idea where I picked it up but strongly suspect it was sometime on or after March 11th when I was on my way north from my string of shows in NC, GA and FL early in March.

Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, IF you were at any of the shows listed here, and were shaking hands or taking selfies with me in the lobby during intermission or at the end of the evening, PLEASE be extra-vigilant for symptoms (fever, headache, dry cough, nausea).

  • March 4th, Isis, Asheville, NC
  • March 5th, Eddie’s Attic, Decatur, GA
  • March 7th, Lyric Theatre, Stuart, FL
  • March 9th, Studios, Key West, FL
  • March 10th, Kravis Center, West Palm

Be well, stay well!


Tom Rush

American Flag

WE are America!

Originally sent to email list subscribers March 28. §§

Gang,

We have to stop blaming each other. Forget about whose fault everything is — it’s a divisive distraction and is precisely what Uncle Vladimir wants, for us to divide and bicker, when the answer is to pull together.

At the same time, we cannot wait any longer for instruction from above — it is not forthcoming. Our leaders are not leading, but rather are trying to recruit us to join them in finger-poiniting. We must take a hard look at the things that need to be done NOW, and start to do them NOW.

I submit that sheltering in place is an absolutely essential first step. Please take five minutes and watch this clip from Dr. Emily Porter (Rep Katie Porter’s sister):

This is the most cohesive, articulate and persuasive explanation of “Flattening the Curve” I’ve seen anywhere.

Then contemplate the difference in the virus’s trajectory in China, where they enforced very draconian isolation measures to stop the spread (and succeeded), to Italy, where they did nothing.

For basic answers to basic questions about the virus, go to:https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-resource-center#COVID

(One of the startling things I saw there was that you may remain infectious for weeks after you’ve “recovered”!)

In the absence of cohesive leadership from above, we must all take action at the individual and community level. I offer the following — rough and unpolished, but heartfelt:

We Are America

We Are America.
We tend to forget that.
We tend to lie back,
And wait for someone else,
To do the work.

But it’s not the leaders
that make America great,
We do. You do and I do,
If we stop and think about it.

We can’t wait for orders from The Top.
(The Top is all too often focused
on covering their Bottom …
And their bottom line.)

So, what do we do?
We do what we have done
So many times before —
We look out for each other.

We are the first responders now,
going where the need is,
To help any way we can.
To pick each other up when we fall down.

This is not the time for finger-pointing,
If it needs to be done … do it!
There are so many of us
who can help to fill the voids.

We will not come out unscathed —
we never have —
but we will come out strong —
we always do.

Because you and I,
and our millions of mothers and fathers
and sisters and brothers
and neighbors of all descriptions,

YOU are America.
I am America.

Say it out loud:
WE ARE AMERICA

Stay safe, stay healthy! I’ll be back in touch shortly with some from-home offerings of songs and stories — hopefully, a smile or two.

All the best,


Tom Rush


Tom Rush

What you can do (other than taking pains not to spread that virus you may not know you have). Our heroic health care workers are struggling with a drastic lack of basic gear.

Got a sewing machine? Google How to Make a Face Mask. They may not meet hospital specs, but could work in the community and thereby free up supplies for our heroes in the IC Ward.

Got a 3-D printer? https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2020/03/24/calling-all-makers-with-3d-printers-join-critical-mission-to-make-face-masks-and-shields-for-2020-healthcare-workers/#6375c9117500

Look around your community — if someone is doing something useful, pitch in and help. (And don’t worry who he voted for or if she’s a 6th Day Adventist instead of 7th Day — the virus doesn’t give a damn and neither should you!)

Hang in there — if we pull together we can do this!

Tom Rush - Singer-Songwriter

Shows rescheduled

Gang,

After a bit of soul-searching, I’ve decided to ask the venues for the rest of my shows in March to reschedule further down the calendar, possibly in the fall. (Some of these venues had already come to this decision.) If you have tickets, the venue should be in touch about a refund if you cannot make the rescheduled date.

I’m really, really sorry about this! I was very much looking forward to playing these shows at some of my favorite places for some of my favorite people (you), but I know that a lot of us are among the “vulnerable” part of the population, and I would hate for my shows to play any part in spreading this virus around. We’ll decide about the April shows in a week or so, once we get a better sense of the trajectory of this thing. (In New Hampshire, “panic shopping” was expressed in a run on the liquor stores. Gotta stock up, y’know?)

Meanwhile, I hope to get some writing done and, as a way of keeping in touch, am thinking about launching a subscription service at Patreon.com. (You pledge $x per month and I will send you a kitchen-table recording per month of a brand-new song, or some draft pages from one of the three books I’m working on, or … something else?) More on this later.

The to-be-re-scheduled shows are:

All the best,


Tom Rush

Tom Rush

The Daily Country asks Tom about songwriting and "Voices"

Birthday Bash & First Annual Farewell Tour

This year, Tom celebrates his birthday and the launch of his First Annual Farewell Tour!

Tom hasn’t been backed by a full band in decades and he’ll be breathing new life into old favorites that need a band, debuting some brand-new songs, telling stories that are mostly true or better-than-true!

Saturday, February 8th (Tom’s Birthday)
Portsmouth, NH (Tom’s Birthplace)
With Guest Artists
Joyce Andersen
Matt Nakoa, and
The Rushmores!

Guest Artists

Joyce Andersesen may need no introduction. She’s a very talented, high-energy multi-instrumentalist who will be doing some songs on her own and backing me up on a few more — I can’t wait!

 

Matt Nakoa has been on stage with me for the past 5 years. An  amazingly talented young man. (I expect I’ll be opening shows for him before too long.)

 

The Rushmores are a group of very talented musicians that live in the area and get together from time to time (on my birthday for the past few years, and at random other times) and do songs that I’ve recorded — their own arrangements, mind you, they’re not trying to mimic my versions of the songs. For this show, however, we will be trying to get as close as we can to my original recordings.

Photo Credit: William Campbell

Tickets

Tickets are avaliable through PortsmouthTickets.com.

Venue

South Church, 292 State Street,
Portsmouth, NH
7 PM, Saturday, February 8th

Google Map for South Church Unitarian Universalist Church
South Church Unitarian Universalist Church
292 State Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
03801
United States
(603) 436-4762
Tom Rush Birthday Bash
7 PM, Saturday, February 8th
Tickets at PortsmouthTickets.com or 603-373-0499

Accommodation

If you’re coming in from out of town (and many will be) you can search for local hotels at https://www.kayak.com/Portsmouth-Hotels (or whatever booking platform you favor).

We do have a deal at the Hilton Garden Inn at 100 High St, Portsmouth, NH, for a discount on a few rooms. Click on the link and  Or call (603) 431-1499 and ask for Amanda or Keelynn — tell ‘em you want the Tom Rush Concert rate. First-come-first-served!

 

 

Tom Performs "Wasn't That a Mighty Storm"

Another Kitchen Table Recording: For Siena

Gang,

Just a brief one — it’s getting increasingly hard to find things to joke about given what’s going on in this great land of ours right now. I may have to convert to being a Protest Singer after all!

Here’s a sort-of-new song (sorry only for email list subscribers!). I wrote this as a poem for Siena when she was little and soon forgot all about it.

Read the full story . . .

New Song: "Life is Fine"

Another Song & “The Cable Guy Comeith”

Gang,

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 . . .

The Daily Country asks Tom about songwriting and "Voices" 1

New Song

April 2019

Gang,

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!!

Read the full story . . .

"No Regrets" 1968 Music Video 2

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!

Read the full story . . .