Tom Rush Garden Old Flowers New

Submitted by Don Graham

Tom Rush, is an American treasure credited by Rolling Stone as ushering in the era of the singer-songwriter. 

Although he wrote his own songs he was the first to record songs by then-unknown talents like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor helping them gain name recognition. Tom was looking for material to make an album when he heard some songs by Joni, Jackson and James that spoke to him and that he found refreshing and different from the more traditional folksongs of the day, lyrically and musically. “. I wasn’t looking into usher in anything – I was just looking for some songs. “

Fast forward a bunch of decades and Tom Rush is still out there paving roads and entertaining as only he can, and has released a new album, his first in five years. 

“I want to thank Matt Nakoa for prodding me into making this happen. I think he got tired of hearing me say that maybe someday I would make another album and went ahead and booked a studio, some brilliant players and here we are.” 

Matt Nakoa is an amazing talent on his own and has been travelling with Tom as his accompanist for almost a decade.  He managed to capture the essence of Tom Rush, highlighting the warm, comfortable voice of an old friend telling you a story that makes you listen to every word and when one song ends eagerly anticipate the next tale. 

So all these elements set the stage for the perfect storm that gives birth to a great recording, checking all the boxes. You need: Songs, (all Tom Rush originals): check, Arrangements: check, Performance by the artist and musicians: Check, Production: check.  This is one of Tom Rush’s finest albums and he’s had some great ones. 

The album is aptly titled Gardens Old Flowers New. The title is a line that appears in two of the songs on the album. “ It’s meant to convey the idea that many things in life, watching your child learn about the world or falling in love have happened millions and millions of times but each time is refreshing and different.”

From the lead track, “Sailing “ to the closing track “ I Quit “, Garden Old Flowers New is worth every second of the 47 minutes it takes to listen to it.

Some highlights are, “Sailing”, a kind of Gulf &Western tune with more hooks than a cloakroom, reminiscent of Jimmy Buffet.  “Glory Road” speaks of the optimism of a young man starting on his journey with hope and a certainty of its positive outcome. “Gimme Some” is a barrelhouse type of song with an early folk message but a 21st-century feel. “Lullaby in E” shows off the considerable guitar skills of Tom Rush.

Other standouts include “ One More Time Around The Sun”, “To See My Baby Smile “ and  “The Harbour.”

Visit to find out more about Tom Rush and order this CD. You’ll be glad you did.