02 December 2013

Tom Rush and The Club 47 Holiday Tradition Continues at Symphony Hall

Singer-Songwriter and folk icon Tom Rush will return to Symphony Hall with the next of his series of Club 47® concerts on Saturday, Dec 28th at 8:00pm. As is traditional with these shows, Tom will bring together different generations of musicians to share the music. This Holiday Season show will feature the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, with Bill Keith, Geoff Muldaur and Maria Muldaur; Massachusetts favorite Patty Larkin; and (relative) newcomers Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.

In 1981 Tom Rush assembled the first of a series of concerts named for the fabled Cambridge coffee house where many of the legendary artists of his generation got their start. His Club 47 shows played at venues across the country, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Last year, Tom renewed the tradition with a sold-out show at Symphony Hall marking his 50th year on stage.

“These shows are fantastic musical events,” said Tom Rush. “Having a mix of fabulous performers from different generations, sharing the stage, collaborating , exploring each other’s music — it’s a recipe for magic. ‘Honoring the past, celebrating the future,” is the Club 47 slogan, and we try to live up to it.”

The Jim Kweskin Jug Band got their start at the Club 47 in Cambridge and were the original "Americana" band, playing everything from classic blues to hillbilly country, ragtime, jazz, and rock 'n' roll. Their imitators were legion, including a San Francisco jug band that became the Grateful Dead and a New York jug band that became the Lovin' Spoonful, but their loose, exuberant style was uniquely theirs.

“Boston was the home of our Jug band, and our first gig as the Jim Kweskin Jug Band was at Club 47,” Kweskin remembered. “It is fitting that the last performance of our 50th anniversary be performed in Boston. We thank Tom Rush (who started in Boston about the same time we did) for inviting us to join him at Symphony Hall.”

The individual members of the original Jug Band also have made indelible marks on American music. Maria Muldaur is perhaps best known for her 1974 mega-hit Midnight at the Oasis, but her career can best be described as a long, adventurous odyssey through American roots music, including 40 solo albums and multiple Grammy nominations. Geoff Muldaur is one of the great voices and musical forces to emerge from the Cambridge scene. He composes scores for film and television, and his definitive recording of Brazil provided the seed for - and was featured in - Terry Gilliam's film of the same title. Bill Keith introduced his own melodic approach to the banjo, now called the “Keith-style,” and as member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys and later collaborations, revolutionized the way the banjo is played.

Patty Larkin redefines the boundaries of urban-folk music with her inventive guitar wizardry and uncompromising vocals and lyrics. She has been described as “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly) and “drop dead brilliant” (Performing Songwriter). Patty has called Boston home since her studies at Berklee College of Music where she holds an Honorary Doctorate of Music and is currently an Artist in Residence. Patty and Tom’s friendship was kindled nearly 28 years ago when she was on his Maple Hill Artists’ booking roster, and occupied the “Newcomer” slot at several of Tom’s Symphony Hall Club 47 shows.

"Tom Rush has an iconic connection to the singer songwriter movement of which I am a part. His performances continue to be fresh, full of humor and heart, Larkin said. “I'm pleased to be returning to the Symphony Hall stage to join Tom and his esteemed musical guests." Her 13th album, Still Green, has just been released.

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion embody the spirit of the Club 47 tradition. Guthrie— the daughter of Arlo and the granddaughter of Woody— grew up in a musical family rich in the American folk tradition. She and her husband Johnny Irion have been playing together as a musical duo for over thirteen years. They just released their fourth album, Wassaic Way, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone.

“It’s the kind of night I love,” Tom Rush concludes. “To be on stage with some of my favorite players and favorite people, mixing it up, having fun … it doesn’t get much better than that!”

Tickets for “The Club 47 Tradition Continues” range from $35 to $200. 
They are available through the Boston Symphony Hall box office, 888.266.1200

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