Over the span of his 55-year-long career, Tom Rush has become a well-known ferryman of contemporary folk and blues. Following the folk boom of the early 1960s, the New England singer, songwriter, and guitarist has gone on to stand along the likes of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne as an established tour de force in the roots music world. Yet, it's now, for the first time ever, that the 77-year-old artist is publishing an album full of entirely original material with Voices, coming on Appleseed on 27 April.
Before the release of his greatly anticipated LP, Rush is sharing its titular song with PopMatters readers. Enveloped by a relaxing delivery courtesy of his inviting baritone, Rush rambles and croons from the vantage point of one who's rich not just in songwriting experience, but in life. It's a soothing reminder to settle back and listen to the world around us. It's not always us who need to do the talking. If we instead lend an ear to the what surrounds us, we might be surprised by all that we uncover in the stillness.
Rush tells PopMatters about the development of the track: "It had been a very stressful time for my family—we were leaving Vermont where we'd been living for five years, but weren't yet sure of our destination. Some dear friends, Bob and Laura, lent us their lovely farmhouse in Hinsdale, NH, for a few months and it was heaven! Going from the intense pressure of moving, the uncertainty about direction, to the quiet of the New Hampshire countryside was a shock—the good kind—to the system. I had nothing to do for a while, but to listen and wonder. Where was that breeze before it came here? What is that bird talking about? Is that distant thunder looking our way? Several of the songs on the Voices album were written there, in the heart of that mirage summer."