Spectacle Management Presents
At Lexington’s Cary Hall
Sunday, April 29 at 3pm
Tickets On Sale Friday, March 9 at 10am
Lexington, MA – Spectacle Management is proud to present two of America’s great singer-songwriters, John Sebastian and Tom Rush, at Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington on Sunday, April 29 at 3pm. John Sebastian was the lead singer and songwriter for iconic 60s band The Lovin’ Spoonful, which had hit singles with songs like “Summer in the City,” “Do You Believe in Magic,” and many more. New Hampshire native Tom Rush is a widely acclaimed folk artist who has influenced generations of songwriters, and his song “No Regrets” is regarded as a folk classic. Tickets for John Sebastian and Tom Rush at Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington on Sunday, April 29 at 3pm are $49-$69 and go on sale Friday, March 9 at 10am at www.caryhalllexington.com or by calling 617-531-1257.
Over four decades the contributions of John Sebastian have become a permanent part of our American musical fabric.
His group The Lovin’ Spoonful played a major role in the mid-’60s rock revolution, but what leader, singer and songwriter Sebastian had in mind was actually a counter-revolution. “We were grateful to the Beatles for reminding us our rock & roll roots,” John explains, “but we wanted to cut out the English middlemen, so to speak, and get down to making this new music as an ‘Amer- ican’ band.”
This the Lovin’ Spoonful did like nobody before or since, putting their first seven singles into the Top 10. This was unprecedented, and utterly unthinkable at the height of Beatlemania. At rst they’d taken older material from blues, country, folk and jug band sources – what we now term “roots music” – and made it sound modern. Then, in a series of original songs composed and sung by John Sebastian, they did the reverse, creating thoroughly modern music that sounded like it contained the entire history of American music. Which it did.
You know the songs by heart: “Do You Believe In Magic?” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice.” “Day- dream.” “Younger Girl.” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?” “Summer In The City.” “Rain On The Roof.” “Nashville Cats.” “Six O’Clock.” “Darling Be Home Soon.” “Younger Generation.” These songs did more than simply answer the British invasion, they carried the musical tradition into the future.
This music had an immediate and indelible impression on the public consciousness, but John Sebastian was already a name well-known to the cognoscenti. He was born March 17, 1944 in New York City. His father was a noted classical harmonica player and his mother a writer of radio programs. Regular visitors to the family’s Greenwich Village home included Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie, so it was no surprise when young John became a fan of, and then a participant in, the folk music revival that swept the nation in the late ’50s. Making his bow as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, his skills on guitar, harmonica and autoharp soon made him a sought-after accompanist on the Village folk scene, working with Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Mississippi John Hurt, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and many others.
So the Lovin’ Spoonful was not his first act, and it certainly wasn’t its last. After leaving the group he founded, he bore witness to another turn of the musical zeitgeist with his performances at massive festivals like Woodstock and its English equivalent the Isle of Wight. He had been involved in music for lms (most notably Francis Ford Coppola’s You’re A Big Boy Now and Woody Allen’s What’s Up Tiger Lily) and Broadway, but when producers of a TV show called Welcome Back Kotter commissioned a theme song in 1976, Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” became a chart-topping solo record.
Throughout the ’70s and ’80s he continued to record and tour, pleasing old fans and winning new ones. There’s no telling how many aspiring musicians have been nurtured by his instruction books for harmonica and guitar, but he aimed to inspire an even younger audience with the publication in 1993 of the delightful children’s book JB’s Harmonica. The ’90s also saw John return to the group format with the J-Band, a contemporary celebration of his jug band heritage. The acclaim the group received was gratifying, but bittersweet. The group’s albums contain some of the last recorded performances of blues pioneer Yank Rachell and washtub/jug virtuoso Fritz Richmond.
Thankfully John’s induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 hasn’t slowed him down. Whether the stage is at Carnegie Hall or a folk festival in some far-ung locale, John is still out there spreading his gospel of American roots music. He is the subject of the current PBS special Do You Believe In Magic: The Music of John Sebastian, and a new album of duets with David Grisman is due later in 2007. He has also lent his music in support of social, environmental and animal rights causes. Recently he joined a delegation of songwriters (including Lamont Dozier, Allen and Marilyn Bergman, and Mike Stoller) in Washington, DC to campaign on behalf of the National Music Publisher’s Association.
Perhaps because it has been the product of heart and soul and history, the oldest song in the Sebastian catalog is as fresh and vital as the song he’s about to write tomorrow. That’s why you still hear his music everywhere – in movies, on television, in cover versions and samples – and why it’s always welcome. John is also a welcome media presence; his commentary, insights and anecdotes and stories are regularly featured in print, radio, TV and lm documentary projects. John Sebastian is not only a master musician, writer and performer, he remains one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had. http://www.johnbsebastian.com/
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues.
Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, “Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, and in more recent years his Club 47 concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations.
Tom Rush began his musical career in the early ’60s playing the Boston-area clubs while a Harvard student. The Club 47 was the flagship of the coffee house fleet, and he was soon holding down a weekly spot there, learning from the legendary artists who came to play, honing his skills and growing into his talent. He had released two albums by the time he graduated.
Rush displayed then, as he does today, an uncanny knack for finding wonderful songs, and writing his own – many of which have become classics re-interpreted by new generations. (It is testimony to the universality of his appeal that his songs have been folk hits, country hits, heavy metal and rap hits.) Signed by Elektra in 1965, Rush made three albums for them, culminating in The Circle Game, which, according to Rolling Stone, ushered in the singer/songwriter era.
In the early ’70s, folk turned to folk-rock, and Rush, ever adaptable, saw more room to stretch out. Recording now for Columbia, he toured tirelessly with a five man band, playing concerts across the country. Endless promotional tours, interviews, television appearances, and recording sessions added up to five very successful but exhausting years, after which Tom decided to take a break and “recharge” his creative side at his New Hampshire farm.
Rush returned with a splash in 1981, selling out Boston’s prestigious Symphony Hall in advance. Time off had not only rekindled Rush’s love of music, it had re-ignited music audiences’ love of Rush.
He instinctively knew that his listeners were interested in both the old and the new, and set out to create a musical forum like the Club 47 of the early sixties to allow artists and newcomers to share the same stage. In 1982, he tried it out at Symphony Hall. The show was such a hit it became an annual event, growing to fill two, then three nights, and the Club 47 series was born. Crafting concerts that combined well known artists such as Bonnie Raitt or Emmylou Harris with (then) unknowns like Alison Krauss or Mark O’ Connor, Rush took the show on the road. From the ’80s to the present day, Club 47 events have filled the nation’s finest halls to rave reviews, and have been broadcast as national specials on PBS and NPR.
Regrets”, the 17-track compilation includes as a bonus a brand new Tom Rush composition, “River Song,” which features vocal contributions from Grammy winners Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn.
A live CD, “Trolling for Owls” released in 2003 and published by Tom’s NIGHTLIGHT RECORDINGS, captures Tom’s complete performance and includes, for the first time, some of the spoken stories that have endeared him to audiences. “How I Play (some of) My Favorite Songs”, a DVD released in 2005 by Homespun Tapes. It shows how he plays ten of the memorable songs and guitar arrangements that have long made him one of America’s most beloved performers. In 2009, Tom recorded his first studio CD in 35 years. Recorded in Nashville, “What I Know” was produced by Tom’s long-time friend Jim Rooney and includes original Tom Rush material, as well as harmonies by Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Bramlett and Nanci Griffith. Today, Tom Rush lives in New Hampshire when he’s not touring. His voice has grown even richer and more melodic with training, and his music, like a fine wine, has matured and ripened in the blending of traditional and modern influences. He’s doing what he loves, and what audiences love him for: writing and playing …passionately, tenderly…knitting together the musical traditions and talents of our times. http://tomrush.com
Tickets for John Sebastian and Tom Rush at Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington on Sunday, April 29 at 3pm are $49-$69 and go on sale Friday, March 9 at 10am at www.caryhalllexington.com or by calling 617-531-1257.
CARY MEMORIAL HALL
The Cary Memorial Building is a historic structure located in Lexington Center at 1605 Massachusetts Avenue. The Cary Memorial Building, named for Isaac Harris Cary, was built in 1928 with a donation from his two daughters. The Colonial styled building, with its grand auditorium, has provided the community with a year-round site for musical programming and popular events for eighty years and is home to the Lexington Symphony. The building is handicapped accessible, and is fully air-conditioned. www.caryhalllexington.com
Spectacle Management is a full-service booking, marketing and promotion company with offices in Boston and Lexington. For more information, please contact Pete Lally, firstname.lastname@example.org and 617-531-1257. www.spectacleshows.com