Tom Rush

Tom Rush

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It's unfortunate that Tom Rush's third album has such a strong reputation among rock listeners -- not that it doesn't deserve it, but it sort of distracts them from this album, which was as natural a fit for rock listeners as any folk album of its era. Rush's debut album is filled with a hard, bluesy brand of folk music that's hard on the acoustic guitar strings and not much easier on his voice; he sings stuff like "Long John" and "If Your Man Gets Busted" with a deep, throaty baritone that's only a little less raw than John Hammond's was while doing his work of the same era. Rush had the misfortune to be equated with Bob Dylan, but he had a more easygoing and accessible personality that comes out on numbers here such as Woody Guthrie's "Do-Re-Mi" and Kokomo Arnold's "Milkcow Blues," which are thoroughly enjoyable and quietly (but totally) beguiling. Additionally, he isn't such a purist that he felt above covering a Leiber & Stoller number such as "When She Wants Good Lovin'."

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