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Trolling for Owls

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Album Review

Trolling for Owls is Tom Rush's first newly recorded full-length album in over 20 years (that would be since 1984's Late Night Radio), but anyone thinking that it would constitute a major statement from him as an artist will be surprised. Surprised, but not necessarily disappointed, especially those Tom Rush fans who have prized his occasional forays into novelty songs and humor, such as his recordings of "Came to See Me Yesterday in the Merry Month Of" and "Beam Me Up Scotty." Any self-respecting solo folksinger traveling the country is liable to build up a store of funny stories, and even a few funny songs to change the mood in his shows, and Rush has his share of what he calls "lighter" material. Here, a friend has followed him around with a tape recorder, then edited such material together. The result is a very funny album on which Rush tells stories and makes witty observations, then sings some silly songs. As on his more serious efforts, he likes to promote other songwriters, which is why he performs, for instance, Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" and John Prine's "Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian." His tales of living in Wyoming and New Hampshire are his own, however. In a sleeve note, he expresses concern that the album gives the impression he is a comedian, which he says he is not. Fair enough. It can only be hoped that he has even more "lighter" material where this came from, now that he's decided to commit so many funny bits to record. And, of course, now he will have to put up with people actually requesting that he sing these off-beat songs. But the album serves as a good advertisement for his shows, guaranteeing a good time and more than a few laughs.


Born: 08 February 1941 in Portsmouth, NH

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his warm and slightly world-weary baritone voice, solid acoustic guitar playing, and gifted if hardly prolific songwriting skills, Tom Rush was one of the finest and most unsung performers to come out of the '60s urban folk revival. Born February 8, 1941 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Rush began his performing career in 1961 while attending Harvard University (where he majored in English literature), and he soon became a regular on the east coast folk circuit. A careful, unhurried songwriter,...
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Trolling for Owls, Tom Rush
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