Words such as “Gifted” and “Influential” with a “Warm expressive voice” have been used to describe Tom Rush. Artists like James Taylor and Garth Brooks have listed him as one of, if not their top influence and he will be appearing at The Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA on Saturday November 13 at eight o’clock p.m.
Rush is credited with helping “Shape” the folk revival in the 1960’s and “Revitalizing” the genre in the 1980’s and ‘90’s as well as aiding the careers of artists such as Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Nanci Griffith, Shawn Colvin and the aforementioned Taylor. When asked about his effect on these now iconic performers and his role in their success; he tends to downplay his involvement; tending to focus on what is happening in the present.
“The fact of the matter is that I wasn’t looking to discover anybody or in promoting anybody else’s career; I was looking for songs to record and of course wanting to meet girls. That’s the other main incentive for being a musician if you’re a guy and anyone who tells you different is lying,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve got a new album’s worth of songs but the studios in Nashville are shut down. I might actually just record a new album at the kitchen table; make it very informal. My kitchen table is actually set up; during the pandemic I’ve been doing this online series called “Rockport Sundays” where every Sunday I put up a video clip of a song and a story and they’re very often brand new songs that I haven’t recorded yet. So, the kitchen table not only has pro recording gear but it has pro video gear. I could do a video album; hmm, interesting idea.”
By his own admission, Rush acknowledges his status as an elder of the music tribe but he also has no intention of slowing down and his tour schedule is still very active. The road however, can be taxing even for the more youthful but here too, he doesn’t allow the rigors of the road to detract from his performances.
“I had three shows in the Northeast last weekend, then I’ve got four in a row in Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia and Sellersville, PA and then the following week we go to Clearwater, Florida and do a show with the band America and then after that I go to Toronto and do a couple of shows with Gordon Lightfoot. So, every weekend is pretty much jammed up and in this particular case it’s kind of exciting because I get to play for live audiences which I’ve been missing terribly. One of the things I’ve learned from doing these “Rockport Sundays” thing is that when you tell a joke for a video camera it doesn’t laugh. So, all of that thunderous applause is wasted because I can’t hear it; getting in back of real live audiences is a real treat. That said, I’m not 35 anymore, I sometimes feel like I might be even 50; I love the two-hours on stage but the travel part gets older every day. I just did five shows in a row out in the mid-west with 1,200 miles of driving; that kind of wore me down but It’s me and my guitar and most of the time Matt Nakoa who is my uber-talented side-man who does a lot of the driving. We flew out to the mid-west, rented a car, drove the 1,200 miles, turned the car in and flew home.”
“Our first set actually runs about and hour and ten-minutes which is longer than some people’s shows; we take an intermission and do another hour. The nice part is that people tell me they wish the show was longer. Every show is different, I know what I’m going to start with and I know what I’m going to close with but in between it is kind of free-form. Yes, I’ll definitely be doing some favorites from over the years because that is what people come to hear; they come to hear what they know but I’ll be mixing in some brand new songs that I think are some of my best work and the crowds have been very enthusiastic about the new songs and that’s great.”
Rush can not hide the enthusiasm in his voice when he discusses Nakoa but had it not been for a persistent friend; he never would have encountered him.
“I found him when I was doing a show at Symphony Hall in Boston and I had guest artists coming and I wanted my guests to learn the new songs. I was borrowing a studio from a friend who has a studio in his basement and I’m down there working on these demos and he says, “Do you want any keyboards on anything?” I said, no and he said, “I’ve got this kid here and he’s really good” and I said, no and he said, “He’s really, really good” and I said, OK, alright, I’m getting the studio time for nothing so, OK, one song. He went upstairs and woke up Matt who said, “Tom who? No, I want to sleep, get outta here.” Well, he finally managed to drag him downstairs and he played on one song and then he played on another song and then he played on all of the songs; he’s gooooood. Then at the end of the afternoon, I asked him if he would like to do a show with me on December 28 and he said maybe his calendar was free and asked what club it would be and I said, well actually it’s Symphony Hall. There was a moment of silence and he said that he probably would be able to make it (laughs). So, he was part of the band at the Symphony Hall show and a month or two later I called him and asked him if he’d like to do a concert or two with me and we’ve been working together ever since.”
The pandemic which spawned those “Rockport Sundays” shows wasn’t necessarily kind to Rush as he fell victim to the virus himself which affected him physically but didn’t dampen his spirit.
“Yes I did have it and I do not recommend it! I was an early adapter, I got COVID in March of 2020 and it was two weeks of basically feeling really crummy. It was five days of getting worse, five days of being in bed 20-hours a day aching all over and being exhausted and five days of getting better little by little. After it was over or I thought it was over, they put a pacemaker in me because they discovered my heart-rate was going down to 23 beats per minute. I think it is COVID related because when I was in the cardiac ward at Mass. General a nurse said, we seem to have a lot of COVID survivors; this was early in the pandemic when not many people had gotten the virus yet. So, the fact that we were over-represented in the cardiac ward indicates to me that it’s COVID related but I can’t prove it.”
So, what can we expect if we are going to The Sellersville Theater on Saturday?
“Some old songs, some new songs, some stories; Matt Nakoa will be doing a few songs on his own during the course of the show besides being my accompanist. He always steals the show and I pay him to do it; I don’t know what is wrong with me (laughs). He’s a monster, my hope is that when he is playing stadiums that he lets me open the shows
After such a long and storied career, surely there has to be some takeaway. When asked if there is anything he may have done different he says he has no regrets.
“I’m sure there are several managers that I wouldn’t have hired; I probably would’ve stuck to business a little more and partied a little less. I’m very happy to be where I am and appreciate the path that got me here.”
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON
This week's event listings
Al's Airport Inn 636 Bear Tavern Road West Trenton (609) 883-5252 Sat. 5 p.m. Aaron Quaterman Sun. (12 p.m.) Sunday Brunch (6 p.m.) "Sunday Funday" w/ DJ Spinning Mon. 5 p.m. Rob Silvers Tues. 7 p.m. Dirty Roots Wed. 7 p.m. Rob Silvers Arts Council of Princeton 102 Witherspoon Street Princeton (609) 924-8777 Fri. (10 a.m.) “Studio Time” at Princeton Makes w/ Adriana Groza (6:30 p.m.) “Kids Night Out!” Turkey Plate (Takes place at Princeton Shopping Center 301 North Harrison Street) Sat. 10 a.m. “Sauce For The Goose Outdoor Market 2021” w/ DJ Lydell, live art demonstrations and more. (Takes place at Princeton Shopping Center 301 North Harrison Street) Artworks Trenton 19 Everett Alley Trenton (609) 394-9436 Fri. 7 p.m. “Raices lll” A Multi-Cultural Music Series Hosted by Colmado Music Group feat. Josue Lora, Nota G., V. Anie, Mike Rossi, Trap Rabbit, Laura Lizcano w/ music by DJ ItsJustAhmad. $15 Sat. 6 p.m. “Stepping Into Tomorrow” Trenton TRANSITional Art ProjectBill's Olde Tavern 2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton (609) 586-0192 Mon. 7 p.m. Trivia Night Tues./Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ "Super" Dave Curtis Ages 21+Bowman's Tavern 1600 River Road New Hope, PA (215) 862-2972 Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Dave Dales Trio Fri. (5:30 p.m.) Bennett Lee (8 p.m.) Bob Egan Sat. 7 p.m. Matt Gordeuk Sun. (12 p.m.) Steve Guyger (6 p.m.) Lorenzo Wed. 6 p.m. Andy PrescottBroken Goblet Brewing 2500 State Road Bensalem, PA (267) 812-5653 Thurs. 7 p.m. Mike Estabrook Fri. 8:30 p.m. “Greg Sings Neil” feat. Greg McGarvey w/ His Agitated Donkeys (FREE event, Benefits Philabundance) Sat. 8:45 p.m. NdichuCandlelight Lounge 24 Passaic Street Trenton (609) 695-9612 Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam Hosted by The Mojo Gypsies. $5 (Includes hot buffet)City Streets 510 Highway 130 South East Windsor (609) 426-9400 Sat. 8 p.m. 2IfByC Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich G. AveoClubhouse at Mountain View (The Patio) 850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing (609) 771-0400 Fri. 6 p.m. Meg Hanson, Bill W. and Jahmar TrioCOARadio.com 125 South Main Street Hightstown (609) 241-7103 Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Author William LewisCooper's Riverview 50 Riverview Plaza Trenton (609) 393-7300 Thurs. 9 p.m. Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event) Fri. 5 p.m. "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour" Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" w/ Victor Tarassov (5:30 p.m.) Kindred Spirit and Friends-“A Musical Memorial for Alice Kent & Carol Lawyer” feat. Best of Clapton, AudioPilot, Unleashed, Lance R., Mario & Frank,Terri Carabelli. (FREE event) Tues. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ Michael Hoffman Wed. (12 p.m.) "Wine Down Wednesdays" (7 p.m.) Blues Jam on the Deck / Disco Hustle Night (Inside) All Events Ages 21+Cream Ridge Winery 145 Route 539 Cream Ridge (609) 259-9797 Sat. 12 p.m. “Sugar & Spice and All Cars are Nice” Car Cruise w/ Music by 2ifbyC. ($15 wine tastings) Sun. 1:30 p.m. Sangria Sunday Cross Pollination Gallery 2 North Union Street Lambertville (609) 213-6734 Fri. 5 p.m. "Friday Happy Hour." (Talk art, wine and musicians who bring instruments) Sat. 5 p.m. “The Shaman and The Goddess-A Love Story”Dacey's Pub 215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-4838 Fri. 6 p.m. Acoustic Music Night Wed. 8 p.m. QuizzoDadz Bar and Grill 744 Main Street Lumberton (609)267-4344 Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic NightDog & Bull Brew House 810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA. (215) 788-2855 Fri. 6 p.m. Dustin Beck Sat. 6 p.m. Gabe Guma Sun. 6 p.m. Rachel & TyFriends Bar & Grill 2825 South Eagle Road Newtown, PA (215) 504-7005 Fri. 9 p.m. Stranger ThingsGleason's Bar 6700 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA (215) 943-4781 Fri. 6 p.m. "Happy Hour" w/ Casey Welborn Greenhouse 90 South Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1657 Thurs. 8 p.m. "Musicians Night Out" Hosted by Lovelight Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Sam Ryan Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Dwayne DunlevyHavana New Hope 105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. (215) 862-9897 Thurs. 7 p.m. Funk n' Blues Jam Fri. (8 p.m.) Kansas Tribute w/ “Know Return” $25 (11 p.m.) DJ Dance Party Sat. 8:30 p.m. Screaming Broccoli Sun. 6 p.m. Clapton Tribute w/ “Bell Bottom Blues” $20 Mon. (9 p.m.) "Lipstick Mondays Drag Show" Hosted by Cyannie Lopez (11 p.m.) Karaoke w/ Dwayne Wed. 7 p.m. Jumper DuoHopewell Theater 5 South Greenwood Avenue Hopewell (609) 466-1964 Fri. 8 p.m. Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. $22 Sat. 8 p.m. Anybody! $32Hopewell United Methodist Church 20 Blackwell Avenue Hopewell (609) 466-0471 Sat. 6 p.m. Hopewell Hayride (Old Time Country & Bluegrass). $15 (Suggested donation adults)Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn 15 East Broad Street Hopewell (609) 466-9889 Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic NightHopewell Valley Vineyards 46 Yard Avenue Pennington (609) 737-4465 Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5 p.m.) Brian Eickson Sat. (1 p.m.) FOGlight (5 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Glenn Roberts Sun. 1:30 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Mixtape MojoHurricane Jacks Bar and Grill 7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (267) 914-4517 Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam Irish Rover Station House 1033 South Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA (215) 970-5412 Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Entertainment Paula & Sam Dance Party Sat. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke Party Hosted by Paula & SamIron Plow Vineyards 26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. Justin Love Sun. 2 p.m. Bob O Iron Plow Vineyards Tasting Room 61 High Street Mt. Holly (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. Wayne Palmer & Friends Ivy Tavern 3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton (609) 888-1435 Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke Fri. 9 p.m. Shameless Sat. 9 p.m. Cardona Band Sun. 5 p.m. “Latin Sunday” Karaoke w/ DJ Daner En Los Controles All shows 21+ John & Peter's 96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa (215) 862-5981 Sun. 9 p.m. Silver Synthetic Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic (Sign-ups start at 8 p.m.) Tues. 8 p.m. Those Looks, Proboscis Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational All shows 21+ Killarney's Publick House 644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton (609) 586-1166 Fri. 7 p.m. Wayne Bilotti Duo Sat. 9 p.m. El Ka BongLaurita Winery 85 Archertown Road New Egypt (609) 752-0200 Thurs. 7 p.m. Fall Laurita Idol Fri. (12 p.m.) "Wine In The Grove Friday"( 7 p.m.) Beat Tells! $20 (advance/online), Doors open at 6 p.m. Sat. “Golden Days of Fall Food Truck Festival” feat. (11 a.m.) Amber Moon (2:30 p.m.) The Pennington Station Band (6 p.m.)The Shakyz. (9 p.m.) Fireworks. $12 (advance ages 21+, ages 20 and under FREE) Sun. “Golden Days of Fall Food Truck Festival” feat. (11 a.m.) The Rangers Nouveau (3 p.m.) Jukebox Dayz. $12 (advance ages 21+, ages 20 and under FREE) Wed. 6 p.m. Girls Night Out. “Cake Decorating Class” Ages 21+Mamma Rosa's 572 Klockner Road Hamilton (609) 588-5454 Fri. 6 p.m. Paul Plumeri Sat. 6 p.m. Frank Buttich Wed. 7 p.m. KaraokeMcGuinn's Place 1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence (609) 392-0599 Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke Ages 21+ McStews Irish Sports Pub 5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 949-9570 Sat. 8 p.m. Night Mission, Machines of Penalty, Born Lost, DMT, Claire Hamilton. Tues. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula and SamMore Than Q 13 Klines Court Lambertville (609) 773-0072 Sun. 2 p.m. Packy’s Sunday Brunch feat. Sim Cain, Dave Haneman, Keith HartelMusic Mountain Theater 1483 Route 179 Lambertville (609)397-3337 Fri. 8 p.m. "Elf: The Musical" Sat. 3 p.m./8 p.m. "Elf: The Musical" Sun. 3 p.m. "Elf: The Musical" Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company 909 Ray Avenue Croydon, PA (215) 458-7081 Thurs. 7 p.m. “Super Smash Bros. Doubles Tournament”New Egypt Flea Market Village 933 Monmouth County Road Cream Ridge (609) 758-2082 Sun. 11:30 a.m. April Lynn at "Tye Dye Amy's" New Hope Winery 6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA (215) 794-2331 Sat. 8 p.m. John Waite / Frank Viele. $59, Doors open at 7 p.m. Sun. 6 p.m. John Waite /Frank Viele. $59, Doors open at 5 p.m.Newtown Brewing Company 103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA (215) 944-8609 Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night Fri. 6 p.m. Matt Kresge Sat. 6 p.m. Between ActsNick's Roast Beef 4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA (215) 637-5151 Fri. 8 p.m. Hind Sight Sat. (7 p.m.) Casey Welborn (8 p.m.) The Zone Nottingham Tavern 9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square (609) 587-6623 Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke w/ Super Dave Curtis Sat. 9 p.m. Honey Spot Blvd Old Town Pub 135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 291-9232 Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia Sat. 7 p.m. Mario & Frank Mon. 6 p.m. “Fill Fr. Matt’s Truck” Thanksgiving Food DriveOvation at Riverwalk 1 Riverwalk Plainsboro (609) 537-8000 Wed. 5 p.m. Kindred Spirit DuoPalmer Square 40 Nassau Street Princeton Sat.12 p.m. Fall Music Series w/ PB2Pasquale's Sports Bar 9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA (267) 202-6268 Fri. 5 p.m. Happy Hour feat. (TBA) Sat. 8 p.m. DJ or Live Band Entertainment Tues. 7:30 p.m. Quizzo Wed. 7 p.m. Open MicPatriots Crossing 1339 River Road Titusville (609) 737-2780 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Fri. 8 p.m. Lofash Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo" Pete's Steak House 523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton (609) 585-8008 Fri. 9 p.m. Cover UpRosedale Mills 101 Route 31 North Pennington (609) 737-2008 Sat. 1 p.m. Outdoor Line Dancing. $10 (Rain date Sundays 12 p.m.)Salon 33 794 Alexander Road Princeton Fri. 7 p.m. Clipper Erickson (Indoor event/Pot Luck Dinner and Concert) Sat. 7 p.m. 8 Strings & a Whistle (Indoor Event/Pot Luck Dinner and Concert) Sun. 7 p.m. “Remembering Pete Seeger” w/ Spook Handy (Indoor Event/Pot Luck Dinner and Concert)Second Sin Brewing Company 1500 Grundy Lane Bristol, PA (267) 812-5251 Thurs. 4 p.m. Trivia Tacos and BeerSmall World Coffee 14 Witherspoon Street Princeton (609) 924-4377 x2 Fri. 5 p.m. "Perspectives on Preservation" Sat. 6 p.m. Love? Said the CommanderSpellbound Brewing 10 Lippincott Lane #12 Mt. Holly (609) 832-0077 Sat. 5 p.m. The Successful FailuresStars & Stripes Harley Davidson 600 South Flowers Mill Road Langhorne, PA (215) 752-9400 Sat. 11 a.m. Performance Workshop and Bike BuildStumpy's Hatchet House (Princeton) 745 Alexander Road Princeton (609) 436-9737 Wed. 6 p.m. “Jeep Night”Tara's Tavern 1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown (609) 286-2300 Fri. 9 p.m. The Williamsboy Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Big Daddy GTavern On The Lake 101 Main Street Hightstown (609) 426-9345 Wed. 9 p.m. KaraokeThe Buck Hotel 1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA (215) 396-2002 Thurs. 7 p.m. Kevin Kirko Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk Sat. 9 p.m. Don’t Call Me Francis Tues. 6 p.m. Danny LynchThe Cool Cricket 216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro (609) 291-9110 Fri. 8 p.m. Karaoke Sat. 8:30 p.m. Black ZeppelinThe Dubliner 34 North Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1816 Fri. 7 p.m. Gerry Timlin Sat. 7 p.m. Gabriel Donohue Sun. 3 p.m. "Traditional Irish Session" The Five Four Bar & Grill 8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 547-5525 Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula and Sam Fri. 9 p.m. Union Sat. 9 p.m. Philly Rock ad Soul Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Joe JuhasThe Irish Horne Bar & Restaurant 882 2nd Street Pike Richboro, PA (215) 942-4000 Sat. 8 p.m. Ron D. AcousticThe Ivy Inn 248 Nassau Street Princeton (609) 921-8555 Fri. 10 p.m. Phase 3 Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Slick Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv Wed. 10 p.m. Total Request w/ DJ Rockin' RonThe Morrisville Tavern 376 West Trenton Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-5310 Mon. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Tim Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Wed. 7 p.m. Trivia NightThe Roost 181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge (609) 208-0050 Fri. 8 p.m. ArHouse Sat. 8 p.m. Kindred Spirit The Sticky Wicket 2465 South Broad Street Hamilton (609) 439-0007 Fri. 9 p.m. Spanky’s GarageThe Sycamore Grill 255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA (215) 908-6326 Fri. 8:30 p.m. Kickbax Trioi Sat. 8 p.m. Brian Elliot & Mark Margolies DuoThe Vibe Lounge at Mastoris Route 130 and Route 206 Bordentown (609) 298-4650 Fri. 6 p.m. Timi Hendrixx (Lounge) / “The Many Faces of John Monforto.” $40 (includes dinne and show, cash bar) (Diner) Sat. 6 p.m. Kevin Toft & Son Tues. 7 p.m. TriviaTindall Road Brewing Co. 102 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 526-8651 Sat. 7 p.m. Groovin’ Through The Decades Tir Na Nog 1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton (609) 392-2554 Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Jerry MonkTrenton Social 449 South Broad Street Trenton (609) 989-7777 Sat. 6 p.m. Charcutier Board & Wine Tasting Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night Hosted by Tobias & LeaTriumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location) 400 Union Square New Hope, Pa. (215) 862-8300 Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage All shows 21+ Vault Brewing Company 10 South Main Street Yardley, PA (267) 573-4291 Fri. 8 p.m. Break Even Working Dog Winery 610 Windsor-Perrineville Road Hightstown (609) 371-6000 Sat. 12 p.m. The Williamsboy Sun. 1 p.m. Jersey Sure CatsWWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor Jazzon2.org Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues"
Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.