Tom speaks with Jim Braude of WGBH Greater Boston, on his recent recovery from COVID-19, and the loss of John Prine.
— Originally sent to email list subscribers March 28
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!
Originally sent to email list subscribers March 28. §§
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,
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.
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!
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:
- The Wayne Theater in Waynesboro, VA, Thursday, 3/19
- The Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL (with the band America), Friday, 3/20
- The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA, Saturday, 3/21
- The Baby Grand, Wilmington, DE, Sunday, 3/22
- The Iridium, New York City, Wednesday, 3/25, and
- World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA Thursday, 3/26
All the best,
Tom tells the story of and plays Murray McLauchlan’s “Child’s Song” to audiences at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Dec 2012.
Video produced by Rob Stegman, Blue Star Media.
Tom Rush & Koren Betty rehearse “Jamaica Say You Will” at The Rogers Center For The Performing Arts in Andover MA., 2005
Tom plays “Drop Down Mamma” at the Isis Music Hall in Asheville, NC, 2016
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
Matt Nakoa, and
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 are avaliable through PortsmouthTickets.com.
South Church, 292 State Street,
7 PM, Saturday, February 8th
292 State Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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 Rush singing “No Regrets” as a tribute to Phil Ochs at the memorial concert at Felt Forum in NYC, 1976.
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.