Monday, February 06, 2006

Tom Rush in Concert

Tom Rush was a music icon in my early years, a folk singer of renown, a contemporary of Dylan, Mitchell, Collins, Taylor, Guthrie (both father and son), Garcia, and many, many others. They wrote music for each other, appeared together, and enjoyed each others company, partying together. In that period of time, my attention was focused elsewhere; on a young family, a career, and school (I went to college as an "Evening Student", as we were known then, between 1975 and 1984), and other pursuits. I told a friend that I missed nearly a whole decade of music in the late 60' and early 70's. Only now am I catching up on all the musical experience, listening, reading about it, exploring the internet. I know music from the 40's, the 50's, the early 60's better than any other era. I'm making up for that lost time now.

Tom Rush is making two special appearances at Schooner Wharf, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. He's scheduled to go on at 8 PM. At 7 PM, Michael McCloud will open for Rush. Eric Culberson will close at 9 PM or so on Wednesday obly. In one of the rare times when it has occurred, Schooner Wharf will collect a $5 cover charge for these two shows only. It will be worth it, and more.

McCloud credits Tom Rush as an early influence in his eventual decision to make music his own living. He tells a story of going off to Boston by bus when he was 16 or so and spending time hanging out in the folk music venues of the time, Passim's, Club 47 and the like. It was there that he first met Rush. The two have followed diverse paths, Rush becoming an itinerant minstrel, appearing around the country with others of his age and musical bent. I have a "bootleg" of Rush in concert with David Bromberg at Holstein's in Chicago from 1990. McCloud "just came down for the weekend 35 years ago" and has mostly stayed here. He's a daytime mainstay at Schooner Wharf and a frequent performer in other venues.

Eric Culberson just finished a weekend gig at the Green Parrot. He's a rising star in the blues field, out of Savannah, GA. Because of what else we were doing on the weekend, we weren't able to catch him at the Parrot. We don't usually get a second chance on a Parrot performer, as they are usually touring the south at this time of year. For example, here's Culberson's schedule page.

Sometimes I wonder why we don't get more of these kinds of special appearances here, especially in the winter when there are so many more people in town for more than a day. I actually know the reason, pretty much. It's a matter of money mostly. Appearance fees for nationally-recognized performers are high, higher than a bar like Schooner or the Parrot can pay out based on the house take. Rush is here because he wants to celebrate his 65th birthday in Key West. He's appearing at Schooner through the efforts of Paul and Evelena Worthington, and of Jeff Salzmann. There may be others, but I know that Paul in particular wanted to have Rush appear. He too remembers "back in the day", when folk music occupied a more more prominent spot in the music charts than it does today. Jeff completed arrangements and did the publicity. We'll know by tomorrow night whether anyone will make any money or at least break even. For me, no matter, I'm gearing up for a musical event. I know it'll be one.

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