(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) – Tom Rush: No Regrets, a new documentary exploring folk legend Tom Rush’s rich musical legacy, will premiere at the New Hampshire Film Festival on October 17 and 20, 2013. The 83-minute documentary about the influential folk legend, who also helped propel Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne into the spotlight, Tom Rush: No Regrets features interviews with Rush, James Taylor, Elektra Records’ Jac Holzman, and DJ Dick Summer, plus musical cameos by David Bromberg, Buskin & Batteau, Jonathan Edwards, and Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Tom Rush: No Regrets chronicles Rush’s life, mostly from his own humorous, self-deprecating perspective. The documentary includes exclusive footage of the folk icon retracing his developmental New England footsteps, as well as recent concert appearances at Club Passim (formerly Club 47) and a 50th anniversary celebratory concert at Boston’s prestigious Symphony Hall in December 2012. The documentary is also interspersed with archival footage, photographs, and clippings.
A master storyteller, Rush recalls his life, beginning in New Hampshire: A childhood with blue blood adoptive parents, along with the search for his biological ones, through his time at Harvard University spent as a performer and disk jockey, and his first album – a live recording from 1962 – sold out of the trunk of a car.
Rush went on to record original compositions on his albums while also championing unknown songwriters, like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne, whose material were all included on Rush’s 1968 concept album for Elektra Records, The Circle Game. The album closes with Rush’s most covered composition, “No Regrets.”
In the film, James Taylor reflects on Rush’s influence. “If it weren’t for you, I would not be here,” the singer-songwriter shares. “I definitely walked in the path you shine a light on, and I pattern myself – in no small way – on you … and you’re the greatest!”
“Tom Rush is one of the pioneers of acoustic music,” says Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. “As a songwriter, folk-song stylist and interpreter of original songs, Rush has been a vast influence on many performers who have followed him. When one looks at the songs he has brought attention to in his career, it is no wonder that his name is place among the greats.”
After a stint on the bigger Columbia label, Rush temporarily traded in his guitar for a tractor, and took an unsuccessful stab at farming. Before long, Rush was back in the music business, this time at a much less hectic schedule. He also began developing a roster of young talent for his booking agency, and continues to showcase newer artists, most recently at his 50th anniversary concert at Symphony Hall last December.
Tom Rush: No Regrets continues the musician’s association with filmmakers Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman, who produced and directed the acclaimed documentary, For The Love Of The Music – The Club 47 Revival, featuring folk legends Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, Judy Collins, Maria Muldaur, Geoff Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Jackie Washington, Jim Rooney, Peter Rowan, and narrator Peter Coyote, and previously unheard performances by Bob Dylan.
Kwait and Stegman also produced a DVD and CD of Tom Rush Celebrates 50 Years of Music, now available on Appleseed Recordings and at Tom Rush. Other films by Kwait include Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost with John Sebastian, and Vagabondo! Kwait’s record company, Kingswood, features a new album from Club 47 star Jack Washington Landron, rising stars Alana Amram and the Rough Gems and Hayley Reardon, and an acclaimed collection of Jug Band music, Jug Band Extravaganza.
Tom Rush: No Regrets will be shown at The Loft on Thursday, October 17, from 2:55 to 4:20 p.m., and at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre on Sunday, October 20, from 12:40 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.. Both screenings will include a “Q&A” segment, including an intimate performance by Tom Rush himself on Sunday.
Tom Rush: No Regrets is on Facebook (Tom Rush: No Regrets – The Documentary) and Twitter (@tomrushfilm)..