Back to All Events

An Intimate Performance with Tom Rush: A Benefit Concert to Support EC-CHAP

  • The Packing House 156 River Road Willington, CT, 06279 United States (map)

An Intimate Performance with Tom Rush: A Benefit Concert to Support EC-CHAP

Joined by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matt Nakoa


***SOLD OUT***

Afternoon 3:30pm - 6:00pm


Evening 7:30pm - 10:00pm


$50.00 (Section-1) | $40.00 (section-2)

{NOTE: There are no credit card fees or discounts for these performances]

(Click for Seating Plan)


Steve Herzog ~ "Words & Music", WHUS, 91.7fm, interviews Tom Rush in preparation for his April 13, 2019 performance at The Packing House, Willington, CT. A Benefit Concert for the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP).

Special Note: EC-CHAP is privileged and honored to host an intimate performance with folk legend Tom Rush at The Packing House! Tom will be joined by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matt Nakoa. Tom Rush has always been favorite musician of ours, and a major force in the evolution of folk era of the 1960’s.

Two shows will be offered on April 13th - An afternoon concert beginning at 3:30pm and an evening performance at 7:30pm. Regional folk/bluegrass band, “Horizon Blue”, will open for both shows.

This event represents an annual Benefit Concert to support the The Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.c.3 nonprofit cultural institution serving local and regional communities in Eastern Connecticut and beyond.


TOM RUSH is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues.

Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, “Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, and in more recent years his Club 47® concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations.

Tom Rush began his musical career in the early ’60s playing the Boston-area clubs while a Harvard student. The Club 47 was the flagship of the coffee house fleet, and he was soon holding down a weekly spot there, learning from the legendary artists who came to play, honing his skills and growing into his talent. He had released two albums by the time he graduated.

Rush displayed then, as he does today, an uncanny knack for finding wonderful songs, and writing his own – many of which have become classics re-interpreted by new generations. (It is testimony to the universality of his appeal that his songs have been folk hits, country hits, heavy metal and rap hits.) Signed by Elektra in 1965, Rush made three albums for them, culminating in The Circle Game, which, according to Rolling Stone, ushered in the singer/songwriter era.

In the early ’70s, folk turned to folk-rock, and Rush, ever adaptable, saw more room to stretch out. Recording now for Columbia, he toured tirelessly with a five man band, playing concerts across the country. Endless promotional tours, interviews, television appearances, and recording sessions added up to five very successful but exhausting years, after which Tom decided to take a break and “recharge” his creative side at his New Hampshire farm.

Rush returned with a splash in 1981, selling out Boston’s prestigious Symphony Hall in advance. Time off had not only rekindled Rush’s love of music, it had re-ignited music audiences’ love of Rush.

He instinctively knew that his listeners were interested in both the old and the new, and set out to create a musical forum – like the Club 47 of the early ’60s – to allow established artists and newcomers to share the same stage. In 1982, he tried it out at Symphony Hall. The show was such a hit it became an annual event, growing to fill two, then three nights, and the Club 47 series was born. Crafting concerts that combined well known artists such as Bonnie Raitt or Emmylou Harris with (then) unknowns like Alison Krauss or Mark O’ Connor, Rush took the show on the road. From the ’80s to the present day, Club 47 events have filled the nation’s finest halls to rave reviews, and have been broadcast as national specials on PBS and NPR.

In 1999, Columbia/Legacy released a Tom Rush retrospective album that covers his recorded musical history from 1962 to the present, including tracks recorded for Columbia, Elektra, Prestige and his independent years. Entitled “The Very Best of Tom Rush: No Regrets”, the 17-track compilation includes as a bonus a brand new Tom Rush composition, “River Song,” which features vocal contributions from Grammy winners Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn.


A live CD, “Trolling for Owls” released in 2003 and published by Tom’s NIGHTLIGHT RECORDINGS, captures Tom’s complete performance and includes, for the first time, some of the spoken stories that have endeared him to audiences.

“How I Play (some of) My Favorite Songs”, a DVD released in 2005 by Homespun Tapes, shows how he plays ten of the memorable songs and guitar arrangements, and has had great reviews from guitarists all over the world.

In 2009, Tom recorded his first studio CD in 35 years, in Nashville. “What I Know” was produced by Tom’s long-time friend Jim Rooney and includes original Tom Rush material, as well as harmonies by Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Bramlett and Nanci Griffith.


Tom’s newest album, “Voices” released in 2018 was recorded in Nashville and produced by Tom's Club 47 pal, Jim Rooney. Tom will be joined by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Matt Nakoa (see more about Matt below).

Join us for this very special event. All proceeds after expenses will go to support the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP). To learn more about EC-CHAP and how you can become a member, please visit

Doors open 30-minutes before show time. We are pleased to offer our unique "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required). Soft drinks and snacks available. You can also bring your paid ticket to Willington Pizza House (or WP Too) for eat-in or take-out the night of the show and receive 15% off your meal purchase. Ask for "The Packing House" pizza! Click here for secret recipe. 

For more information, please call 518-791-9474.


About Matt Nakoa…


MATT NAKOA grew up on a small goat farm in Smyrna, NY and began composing music as a teenager. Following a formative stint as a classical pianist, Matt won scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied alongside soon-to-be Grammy winners St. Vincent and Esperanza Spaulding among others. After college, Matt toured with his band, The Fens, and eventually landed in New York City’s vibrant piano bar scene. Matt quickly became a star performer at Manhattan’s Brandy’s Piano Bar, with lines outside the door each Saturday night.

Matt’s first solo album, Light In The Dark (2012), is an eclectic pop opus. In contrast, A Dozen Other Loves (2014), explores a simple acoustic palette. This intimate collection has earned many songwriting awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious New Folk Competition. Additionally, Matt’s piano music has received favorable reviews in publications including The New York Times, and his film scoring has been featured by Disney. Matt now tours internationally, recently performing at The White House, throughout India, and regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush.

About Horizon Blue…


HORIZON BLUE is a favorite at museums, libraries, festivals and cultural events. Horizon Blue's music is best described as Contemporary Americana - a blend of folk, bluegrass, country, blues and rock. We play a variety of instruments including guitar, mandolin, ukulele, electric and upright bass, dobro, strum stick, bongos, and flute.  Some concert attendees have said the stage looks like a music store because of the variety of instruments. 

Monique's songwriting credits include a charting international release in England, Germany, and Japan. Monique was a co-writer for The single "LOOK LOVE IN THE EYES" performed by Mark Free on the album "A Long Way From Love." This record received the number two spot for the album of the year in the British publication "Rock Report."

Currently Horizon Blue is recording a new CD release.

The Packing House  |  156 River Road, Suite 1301Willington, Connecticut 06279  |  (518)791-9474