Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm Lexington’s Cary Memorial Hall Tickets On Sale Friday, December 14 at 10:00 am
Lexington, MA – Spectacle Management is proud to present Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards on Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm at Lexington’s Cary Memorial Hall. New Hampshire native Tom Rush is a widely acclaimed folk artist who has influenced generations of songwriters. His song No Regrets is regarded as a folk classic. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. Four decades into his stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, Jonathan Edwards continues to deliver songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age. His breakthrough recording, Sunshine, reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over 1 million copies. Tickets for Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards on Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm at Cary Memorial Hall are $39 - $79 and go on sale Friday, December 14 at 10:00 am at www.CaryHallLexington.com or by calling 1(800) 514-3849.
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration...a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter, terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues. Rush helped shape the folk revival in the '60s and the renaissance of the '80s and '90s, his music has left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, "Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences." Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the works of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. In more recent years his Club 47 concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations. Tom Rush began his musical career in the early '60s playing the Boston-area clubs while he was a Harvard student. Club 47 was the flagship of the coffee house fleet, and he was soon holding down a weekly spot there, learning from the legendary artists who came to play, honing his skills and growing into his talent. He had released two albums by the time he graduated. Rush displayed then, as he does today, an uncanny knack for finding wonderful songs, and writing his own - many of which have become classics re-interpreted by new generations. Signed by Elektra in 1965, Rush made three albums for them, culminating in The Circle Game, which, according to Rolling Stone, ushered in the singer/songwriter era. In the early '70s, folk turned to folk-rock, and the ever adaptable Rush saw more room to grow. Recording now for Columbia, he toured tirelessly with a five man band, playing concerts across the country. Endless promotional tours, interviews, television appearances, and recording sessions added up to five very successful but exhausting years, after which Tom decided to take a break and "recharge" his creative side.
Rush returned in 1981, selling out Boston's prestigious Symphony Hall in advance. Time off had not only rekindled Rush's love of music, it had re-ignited music audiences' love of Rush. He knew that his listeners were interested in both the old and the new, and set out to create a musical forum like the Club 47 of the early sixties to allow artists and newcomers to share the same stage. In 1982, he tried it out at Symphony Hall. The show was such a hit it became an annual event, growing to fill two, then three nights, and the Club 47 series was born. Crafting concerts that combined well known artists such as Bonnie Raitt or Emmylou Harris with (then) unknowns like Alison Krauss or Mark O' Connor, Rush took the show on the road. From the '80s to the present day, Club 47 events have filled the nation's finest halls to rave reviews, and have been broadcast as national specials on PBS and NPR. In 1999, Columbia/Legacy released a Tom Rush retrospective album that covers his recorded musical history from 1962 to the present, including tracks recorded for Columbia, Elektra, Prestige and songs from his independent years. Entitled The Very Best of Tom Rush: No Regrets, the 17-track compilation includes as a bonus a brand new Tom Rush composition, River Song, which features vocal contributions from Grammy winners Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn. A live CD, Trolling for Owls released in 2003 and published by Tom's NIGHTLIGHT RECORDINGS, captures Tom's complete performance and includes, for the first time, some of the spoken stories that have endeared him to audiences.
A DVD released in 2005 by Homespun entitled How I Play (some of) My Favorite Songs, a DVD shows how Rush plays ten of the memorable songs and guitar arrangements that have long made him one of America’s most beloved performers. In 2009, Tom recorded his first studio CD in 35 years. Recorded in Nashville, What I Know was produced by Tom's long-time friend Jim Rooney and includes original Tom Rush material, as well as harmonies by Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Bramlett and Nanci Griffith. Today, Tom Rush lives in New Hampshire when he's not touring. His voice has grown even richer and more melodic with training, and his music, like a fine wine, has matured and ripened in the blending of traditional and modern influences. Rush is doing what he loves, and what audiences love him for: writing and playing ...passionately, tenderly...knitting together the musical traditions and talents of our times.
Young Jonathan Edwards first sang in public – a solo in church at the age of eight, and began experimenting with songs played by ear on the family piano. On the brink of his teens, after only a few music lessons from the lady next door, he found that he was inclined to do his best learning on his own. He eventually progressed from piano to guitar (after all it was the ‘60s,) then Edwards began marching to the tunes in his own head rather than the ones dictated by his military school upbringing. “I started on a $29 guitar and immediately started putting a band together, writing songs and learning all the contemporary folk songs of the time,” he recalls. Regardless of music’s siren call, Edwards made the expected move to college in Ohio. But music, a force not to be denied, music remained a constant companion. “I started getting electric about the time Dylan did, doing electric folk music. I joined bands by saying ‘What do you need?’ I’m still that way. I still love to play different instruments. It helps me understand production techniques and performance capabilities.“
Eventually, the draw of the music proved stronger than establishment expectations, and Jonathan left college in 1968 to pursue his dream. Selling the car his father had loaned him for school, he bought a van to accommodate his band and headed east to Boston and its happening folk music scene. Jonathan and his fellow band mates quickly immersed themselves in the scene, playing over 100 grueling 6/40 gigs per year, six forty minute sets per night all over New England. The played cover tunes as well as their own country blues originals. Audiences might have seen them in those days performing as the Headstone Circus or the St. James Doorknob, or the Finite Minds. They even recorded an album for Metromedia Records under the name Sugar Creek (out of print).
After a few years, Jonathan grew weary of the grind, finding himself drawn more and more to the clean, simple sound of an acoustic guitar. “I just one night said after a few “Hey Fellas, this isn’t sounding as good as it could, and I’d like us to sound more intimate.’ I liked the sound of bronze strings on rosewood better than steel strings on magnets, and so I walked out of that club in Vermont, rented myself a van and a PA system, and started traveling around the colleges in New England by myself, without gigs, just setting up in the lobbies of dormitories on a Saturday. Pretty soon I started getting a following. People would say ‘has that guy been to your dorm yet? That guy just sets up, plugs in and plays all night.” Jonathan’s initiative and dedication soon paid off, and he found himself opening for national acts, including the Allman Brothers Band and B.B. King. This exposure attracted the attention of Capricorn Records, and he was placed under contract with them. “We took about a year recording the first album – different times, different studios, different sounds different techniques,” Edwards recalls. Recording was so new in ’69 and 70. There was a song on the album called Please Find Me, and for some reason the engineer rolled over it. It got erased. We spent hours looking for it. We fired the engineer and put Sunshine in it’s place.”
Sunshine ushered in a sea change for Jonathan’s life and career, sweeping him up in a current of “overnight” success. As Edwards recalls “All of a sudden – ’71 – I was a huge celeb for fifteen minutes and riding around in limos … and I was trying my best, trying really hard to keep it at bay, to not take advantage of it, to not be that guy, to be the guy who I was going into that lifechanging experience. Jonathan documented those days and those feelings in the song That’s What Our Life Is. The song appeared on his second album, Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy (1972), and it was not the first time (nor would it be the last) time he drew on his life experience for a song.
Jonathan’s other projects during the ’90s included scoring the 1996 film The Mouse, starring John Savage; Producing albums for Protégé Cheryl Wheeler; and signing artists like Lisa McCormack and Simon Townshend to his new label. He also released Man in the Moon in 1997.
The start of the new millennium found Jonathan doing a very different kind of traveling. As host of Cruising America’s Waterways, a pair of 13-week documentary series produced for PBS, he traveled around the Thousand Islands in northern St. Lawrence River to west of Key West. Edwards says, “I played music in and out of all of the scenes. At one point, we stopped along the river and did a concert.” A 30- minute video of that concert, Cruising America’s Waterways: The Concert at Sackets Harbor, and a CD featuring music from the series that were released in 2001.
These days, Jonathan is likely to be found on the road. “I've been...doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people. I've been concentrating on that and loving it," he says. As an artist who measures his success by his ability to attract and take good care of his audience. Jonathan maintains that it is the feedback he receives after his shows that keeps him going. “Sometimes, in our darker moments, we imagine our music not finding receptive ears, unable to reach open hearts. So it is really gratifying to hear [someone say],’Your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years.’”
Now, On the verge of his fifth decade in the music business, Jonathan Edwards shows no sign of turning into a “Sit Down Rock and Roll Man.” His upcoming plans include breaking into new markets, new audiences, new songs, and a new studio recording. As this barefoot troubadour prepares for the next stages of his journey everyone ismore than welcome to join him for an evening or two as he continues to make good on that promise, he made all the way back in 1971: “Sunshine, come on back another day…I promise you I’ll still be singing.”
Tickets for Tom Rush and Jonathan Edwards on Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm at Cary Memorial Hall are $39 - $79 and go on sale Friday, December 14 at 10:00 am at www.CaryHallLexington.com or by calling 1(800) 514-3849.
CARY MEMORIAL HALL
The Cary Memorial Building is a historic structure located in Lexington Center at 1605 Massachusetts Avenue. The Cary Memorial Building, named for Isaac Harris Cary, was built in 1928 with a donation from his two daughters. The Colonial styled building, with its grand auditorium, has provided the community with a year-round site for musical programming and popular events for eighty years and is home to the Lexington Symphony. The building is handicapped accessible, and is fully air-conditioned. www.caryhalllexington.com
Spectacle Management is a full-service booking, marketing and promotion company with offices in Lowell and Lexington. For more information, please contact Pete Lally, firstname.lastname@example.org and 617-531-1257. www.spectacleshows.com