Posted on February 15, 2024


Now 82 and living in Maine, Tom again displays his now-prolific songwriting on 2024’s Gardens Old, Flowers New, 11 warmhearted, wry, thoughtful self-penned songs plus a thoroughly modernized adaptation of an old blues tune.

"I want to thank Matt Nakoa for prodding me to make this all happen," says Tom Rush. "I think he got tired of hearing me talk about maybe-someday making another album, went ahead and booked a great studio, lined up some brilliant players, a fabulous sound engineer and a great video guy. Next thing I knew, I’m sitting in an old barn in Connecticut strumming my guitar and having the time of my life!"

Rush goes on to say, "The album’s title, Gardens Old, Flowers New, is a line that appears in two of the songs here. I mean to convey the idea that many things in life – watching your child learn about the world, or falling in love – have happened millions on millions of times through the eons, but each time is always fresh and different."


Born in Portsmouth, NH, in 1941, Tom Rush became an integral part of the Boston/Cambridge folk scene of the early’60s as a convincing singer and masterful acoustic guitarist, performing folk and blues and recording three albums in the traditional idiom. In 1966, Elektra issued Tom’s Take a Little Walk with Me, with its influential mixture of mostly traditional songs on one-side and an electric band on the other. His next album was a turning point for him and for the entire contemporary music scene: Retroactively tipped by Rolling Stone as the album that launched the singer-songwriter genre, The Circle Game (1968) showcased songs by then-unknown Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. The album also featured Tom’s own songwriting debut, No Regrets, now acknowledged as standard, covered by artists ranging from Harry Belafonte to Waylon Jennings to Olivia Newton-John, with UK hit versions by The Walker Brothers and Midge Ure.

After moving to Columbia Records and in an increasingly country-rock direction, in 1970 Rush took part in the rock ’n’ roll circus known as the Festival Express, a brief tour-by-train through Canada, whose participants included the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, and Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. By 1974, Rush decided to drop out of the touring/recording cycle for a while; he soon resumed touring, but his only recordings for the next ten years were a pair of live recordings of holiday shows on his own Night Light label. These concerts, first staged in 1981, became annual events – “the Club 47 series” – mixing established stars such as Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez and Richie Havens and newcomers Nanci Griffith, Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, and Mark O’Connor. Some of the concerts were broadcast by NPR and PBS. Rush took the show on the road, selling out Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Smithsonian Institute and Kennedy Center, among other prestigious venues. The spirit of those shows was later captured on a 2013 live all-star concert CD/DVD recording, Tom Rush Celebrates 50 Years of Music, which featured David Bromberg, Jonathan Edwards and others.


Contact: Lynda Weingartz -


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