christine lavin

T o m.... R u s h

sometimes mother knows best

Tom Rush
What I Know



“. . . A warm, crisp gem of an album . . .  it features harmonies by Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Bonnie Bramlett and a band of stellar players such as Fats Kaplin, Robin Batteau and Mike Henderson. . . . Rush has a reputation as a great song-finder. . . . On his new album, Rush includes fine songs by Richard Dean, Steve Bruton, Melanie Dyer and Kim Beard Day among others, but the friskiest and most quietly plaintive songs come from Rush’s own pen.” – Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald

“With his typical low-key approach, Rush has made a wonderful new album, featuring a number of fine new Rush originals, as well as songs penned by the likes of Jack Tempchin, Stephen Bruton, Eliza Gilkyson and Bill Miller. And he caps off the album with a beautiful, understated rendition of the old Dobie Grey hit, ‘Drift Away,’ accompanied only by his acoustic guitar and a cello.” – Greg Haymes, Albany Times Union



Rush still has that deep, relaxed voice that gives listeners the impression they’re old friends listening in on a musical conversation. (4 stars).” – Mike Regenstreif, Montreal Gazette

“. . . more satisfying than any grand statement or career summation might have been.” – Bill Friskics-Warren, Washington Post

“On What I Know, Rush does what he’s always done so very well, which is write a handful of wonderful folk/country-flecked songs, pick another handful of brilliant songs by other songwriters and translate it all with a group of hypertalented sessioneers, leading the pack with a supernatural ability to inhabit a song and inform it with his unique sense of purpose, humor and wonder. . . . A marvelously relaxed and self-assured return…” – Brian Baker, Cincinnati City Beat 


“Rush is less about expounding universal truths than celebrating the individual moments that make life worth living… His lyrics are comfortably conversational, much like his lived in tenor, both of which are applied masterfully.” – Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times


“. . . a deceptively informal, warm and engaging collection of acoustic songs from a variety of sources, Rush's steady pulse at the center of every one. His solo acoustic "Drift Away," which ends the set, is a stunning surprise.” – Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle

“. . . the new album is a reminder of the understated qualities that made [Rush] a beloved entertainer four decades ago: his warm, conversational singing style; caviar taste in the songwriters he covers; and nuanced guitar playing . . .” – James Reed, Boston Globe

“Rush is truly comfortable here, disarming to even the fiercest critic… In a word: Worthwhile. Grade: A.”Aquarian Weekly

“His latest [CD] reaffirms his wit and genial presence in songs that highlight elegant, simple craftsmanship of elegant simplicity. . . . Rush spins engaging yarns as second nature, folksy yet fun . . .” – Thomas Kintner, Hartford Courant




“His vocal style remains the same — good-natured, friendly, and intimate, with a tinge of weary wistfulness. Thankfully, the production, like Rush himself, is low-key and, though grounded in folk and country music, has full and varied instrumentation. While there are celebrity cameos in the shape of guest harmony vocals by Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, and Bonnie Bramlett on a track apiece, those are sympathetic complementary contributions, not parts roped in to grab attention.” – Richie Unterberger,

“Rush knows what he does well and the rest of us are beyond fortunate that he continues to do it. . . . [H]is infectious, happy-go-lucky stance and his stand-out vocals . . . inject an uplifting quality into every word unlike many of his contemporaries. His reassuring tenor voice melds with thoughtful lyric and his learned knack of interpreting life as we¹d like it to be.” – Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine

“Legendary at finding just the right songs to capture a time . . . Rush unveils five originals, including the high steppin' ‘Hot Tonight’ and the sly ‘One Good Man’ and puts them alongside Eliza Gilkyson’s seductive ‘Fall into the Night’ and Steve Bruton’s poignant ‘Too Many Memories,’ which features a duet with Emmylou Harris. Melanie Dyer & Kim Beard Day's melancholic, yet somewhat humorous ‘What An Old Lover Knows’ just wouldn't sound the same if sung by anyone else. . . . [A]n old friend returns, scarred but not broken, in good humor and grand voice.” – Mike Jurkovich, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

“Good Lord, it’s been so long since his last real album that none of Rush’s duet partners here even had solo careers at the time. Recorded with the contemporary folkie’s best friend, Jim Rooney, at the production wheel, Rush bridges the gap between this and Ladies Love Outlaws in a single bound, showing why he was one of the first major folkies to go DIY . . . Certainly not an effort in nostalgia, this is real music for real folkie/acoustic music fans that know they were right the first time around. If today’s lo-fi kids get into this, so much the better for them, but if not, let the old timers play. A winning return . . ." – Chris Spector, Midwest Record