Tom Rush

Tom Rush

Tom Rush hit on the perfect combination with 1968's classic The Circle Game. He found his voice in the songs of other modern writers, bringing about the age of the singer/songwriter in the process. 1970's self-titled release (not to be confused with his folk-blues album, also self-titled, from 1965) again features the work of James Taylor ("Rainy Day Man") and the then-unsigned Jackson Browne ("These Days," "Colors of the Sun"), along with tunes by Fred Neil ("Wild Child") and Jesse Colin Young ("Lullaby"). There's a country influence but also striking orchestration. Murray McLauchlan's "Child Song" is pure heartbreak and tenderness, one of Rush's finest performances. Sleepy John Estes' "Drop Down Mama" brings Rush back to the blues of his early career. His take on David Wiffen's "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" and the Jackson Browne tunes showcase a first-rate interpreter who could get to a song's heart. Browne's rich lyricism finds a sympathetic voice in Rush, who brings out in the songs what Browne himself was still at that point too young to express. (Browne's debut wouldn't appear until 1972.)

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