No Regrets

Tom Rush is one of the musicians I grew up listening to. My father, though a fan of rock, and, to a lesser extent, classical music, was first and foremost a folkie. Though he was big on Dylan, John Prine, Phil Ochs, etc, his favorite was Tom Rush. I can't say as I blame him. Rush has a spectacular voice, and an impressive guitar style, not to mention excellent taste in covers and a number of high-quality originals.

Of those originals, perhaps none is better than "No Regrets," perhaps one of the kinder breakup songs ever written. It was a minor hit when it was issued on 1968's The Circle Game (titled after one of his great Joni Mitchell covers). That version is a little schmaltzy, with string arrangements that distract from its power. My father told me repeatedly that the song had to be heard live, with just Rush's voice and guitar. I finally got that chance twice in 2004: the first at the Sellersville Theater, which is historic and has great sound, though it's a little fancy for folk music; the second at the now-defunct Bryn Mawr venue The Point, which was pretty much the perfect place for this type of show.

At the time, Rush was giving away about half a dozen free tracks on his website. He no longer does this, instead opting for one a month plus a digital music web store. One of the best free tracks that did not make its way to the web store was an excellent demo of No Regrets. I have appended it to this post. I hope you enjoy it.

Tom Rush - No Regrets (early version)

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