I’m planning to go into a recording studio very soon to make my next album — featuring never-before-recorded songs of mine. Songs you may have heard at shows: “Siena’s Song”, “I Quit”, “To See My Baby Smile”, “Won’t Be Back at All”, “Nothin’ but a Man” and more.
To make this possible I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign to try to put together the resources it will take to pull this off.
This campaign ends on April 27th, and the way Kickstarter works, if we have not reached our goal it all just goes “poof” — nobody gets charged, no rewards are sent out, and … the album doesn’t get made.
I honestly feel that this will be my best work yet (Matt Nakoa will be producing, and you know what a monster talent he is). I greatly appreciate whatever help you can give! Go to Kickstarter and check it out.
All the best,
PS: The picture of me sitting in a giant copper pot (that I bought at a yard sale) was used way back in history in an ad for a New Year’s Eve concert. The caption was “Get Stewed With TomRush!!”
Quote of the Month:
“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” –– Mark Twain
Random thought of the month, isolation inspired: I’ve done the math. This $18 box of wine contains as much as four of the $20 bottles I used to buy. Therefore, I save $62 for every box I drink. Conclusion: I must drink more wine — I need the money!!
I want you to know that I really appreciate you — the support and encouragement you’ve given me over the years! Now there’s something new I really want to do, and I’m going to need your help to do it. I’m inviting you into my kitchen:
I’m embarking on a new adventure, a series of weekly online offerings — kitchen-table videos of songs and stories, pages from a book I’m working on … and more. Since they’ll be coming out of my kitchen in Rockport, Mass, I thought I’d call them “Rockport Sundays”, after that instrumental I recorded way back when.
OK, here’s how it works: I’m doing this through a platform called Patreon.com/TomRush, and it’s easy! You sign up and every Sunday I’ll send you something. One week a Kitchen Table Video (KTV) recording of an old song with some back story about the song.
The next week, a KTV of a brand-new song (I have almost enough already for a new album!). Then a KTV of a story from my 50+ years on the road (I have a list of about 30 so far — Skinny Dipping with Janis Joplin, Steve Goodman and the Giant Rabbit, Clint Eastwood and the Hashish Brownie— some fun stuff!), pages from a book I’m writing. AND, from time to time, some Wild Card thing that will be a surprise for all concerned, including me.
Now, these won’t be super-slick. This is me at home, after all, and believe it or not, my life is not highly polished! But you’ll be joining me for some seriously casual fun, AND you’ll be giving me an incentive (an imperative, really) to keep on creating — and to finish up the odds and ends I’ve had lying around for years.
The price tag is a mere $10 a month, and I’ll do my level best to make sure you get more than your money’s worth. If you’re having a good time (and I’m quite sure you will), please help spread the word — the more the merrier! And if you have friends or family who might enjoy this adventure, forward this email on to them (or give it to them as a Christmas surprise!). And if you have friends or family who might enjoy this adventure, forward this email on to them (or give it to them as a Christmas surprise!).
This letter first appeared April 8, 2020 in the Boston Globe §§
I did not know him well, not as well as I would wish. We worked together on a few occasions, ran into each other at a couple of gatherings. I knew him mainly, as did most of us, through his work, his songs.
He had me from “Angel from Montgomery.” Damn, that song was so strong, so true, it took your breath away. This in spite of the fact that there’s a guy singing, “I am an old woman, named after my mother. . .” It took about a tenth of a second to get over the, “Wait! He’s not an old woman!” bit and get swept away by the power of the story, get drawn into the picture he was painting. (Also, there was the part that it never seemed to even occur to him that he was not, in fact, an old woman, he understood and occupied that character so fully and empathetically.)
And then there were all the other shining gems that made us love him, the sideways, sometimes upside-down takes on life that had us smiling and singing along. Ways of looking at things that were new to the world but were expressed so forcefully and engagingly that you could not turn away — there was no choice in the matter, you had to love him.
No movie-star looks, no soaring tenor or dazzling guitar licks. He didn’t need them. He saw truths that had never occurred to us before, and offered them up in a brand-new, loving way that could not be denied.
Goodbye, John Prine. I am sadder than I have been in a long, long time.
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.
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.