Tom Rush chatting it up with
his fans at The Tupelo Music Hall on May 21, 2005
Bruce Bressack photo
Rush rules Tupelo
Folk concert first in a series of Hippo-sponsored shows
By Bruce Bressack
Do you know where your parents
were last Saturday night?
Did you wait up for them and
think, “It’s past 9 p.m. — how come they’re not home downing their Metamucil and
watching Trading Spaces on the 60-inch plasma TV?”
Well, the Hippo found them at
the Tupelo Music Hall, eyes glued to the stage, watching folk legend Tom Rush
weaving his musical tapestry song by legendary song, story by hilarious story.
For the uninitiated, Rush
helped shape the folk revival of the 1960s and its renaissance in the ’80s and
’90s. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell,
Jackson Browne and James Taylor.
According to Rolling Stone,
Rush’s album The Circle Game, released in 1968, ushered in the singer/songwriter
The first time I saw Rush
perform was 15 years ago at an outdoor concert in Conway, NH. It did not compare
to seeing Rush perform in the intimate, listening-room environment of the
His soft-spoken introductions
to the songs were easily heard in the hall, and his humorous anecdotes led to
bursts of laughter, wild applause and healthy hoots and hollers. (If you think
your parents don’t know how to party, I can send you the photographic evidence.)
Rush ruled the stage,
masterfully performing everything from “The Panama Limited” by Mississippi blues
man Bukka White, to Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game,” to Murray McLaughlin’s “A
Child’s Song,” to his original and classic songs “No Regrets” and “Rockport
As the audience filed out, Rush
stood patiently near the exit signing CDs and old album covers that fans had
brought to the show. He chatted with folks like they were old and close friends,
and he graciously posed for photo after photo.
If you were at the Tupelo that
evening, you witnessed greatness (and humbleness) first-hand. Rush sold out the
show and he gave the audience a truly generous performance. And, along the way,
he reminded all of us why music was so important in the ’60’s — it was real, it
was powerful, and it was an “agent of change.”
Hippo is presenting the Mammals at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry on June
24. The Tupelo and The Hippo are jointly presenting the Bacon Brothers on July
29 at the Stockbridge Theatre, in Derry.
Carl Cacho, opening act
Suffice to say that it was a
roller coaster ride for me last week, and Carl Cacho proved to be the right
antidote, at the right time, in the right place. As the opening act for Tom
Rush, Cacho’s gentle spirit (and well-crafted songs) filled the room with
homespun charm and warmth.
Cacho’s connection with the
audience was real and immediate. He was like family, and we could all relate to
his stories about his grandmother.
Sounded just like mine!
I’ve been impressed with all
the opening acts at the Tupelo. It’s a tough slot because the audience is there
to see the headliner. You have to win the crowd over and Cacho did this easily,
with heart, spirit and great tunes.
Cacho’s website: “Carl got his start among the open stages of the fertile New
England folk scene while still a teenager in the late 1980s.
developed his unique brand of songwriting throughout his early 20s, while
working as a social worker and living in Colorado, New York, Michigan and
Massachusetts. It was as a graduate student of social work in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, that Carl began performing professionally, becoming a regular at the
world-renowned venue, “The Ark.” With encouragement from two of his earliest
heroes, Ellis Paul and Catie Curtis, he decided to return to New England to
further hone his craft.
since become a featured performer at some of the most prestigious venues in the
area, including Club Passim, The Muse At The Grey Goose, Johnny D’s and dozens
information, or to purchase CDs, visit