Blazer News 

Spotlight on the 'Human I-pod'

By Jacqueline Bilot

OSA pulled out all the stops in the semester’s last round of student activities for celebrations on Spring Fling week, a two-day event that was held on the Center Bridge. The event featured live music and comedy performances, free food, and student-interactive activities.

Headlining the first day on April 23 was musician and singer John Rush, (AKA, "the Human I-pod") whose act has the audience ask what songs they wanted to him to play instead of having pre-determined set-list.

By using such participation in his method, Rush gets his audience to interact with him, which sets him apart from other acts and performers.

Many of the songs requested, such as "Soul Sister," "Ho Hey," "Don’t Stop Believing" and "Home," showed Rush’s versatility and expansive repertoire.

They also illustrated his talent as a musician, as each requested song was played and sung by melody.

"The guitar parts are all pretty easy to remember because I hear the melody in my head," said Rush on his website.

"But the lyrics are the hard part. I picture them as a story and if I can see the story, I can sing the song."

He has been called a "Human iPod" because of his amazing ability to play "more than 65 hours of music upon request!" proclaimed Rush, adding that there are no repeats in his potential set list.

Rush grew up in Alabama and has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old.

He played in several bands in high school before going to Athens, Ga., where he attended the University of Georgia for three and a half years.

After he left college, Rush moved to Nashville and became a well-known musician in city’s competitive scene despite his initial disclaimer of not playing country, because he did not at the time.

Now he can play almost any popular song that you can think of: blues, rock, pop, and yes, country music.

Armed only with his guitar, a looping machine and sometimes a harmonica, he demonstrated how he can play the piano, drum, saxophone and many other instrumental sounds with his guitar.

To make himself a one man band, Rush looped key music sequences that he played on stage, and used it as the rhythm backdrop for the rest of the song

All the songs Rush plays are from memory and are not prerecorded.

This is because, as Rush puts it, "if you go to hear a live band then you want to hear live music not a recording."

Rush also writes his own music and played some of his own songs at the concert, including some from his latest album, Always Touring.

For Rush, the album’s title is altogether fitting as he travels around the country playing at college campuses, and clubs.

Rush’s next concert in Illinois will be on June 26 for the Quincy Park District Concert Series, at Madison Park.

The concert series features lives performances spread over four Thursday nights each summer. The July 17 concert will feature 88 Keys and the Truth, a group that had just recently played at an OSA sponsored event on the Center Bridge earlier this spring.

To find additional information on Rush, or to look up additional tour dates, visit his website at

© 2012 Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
Phone: (815) 729-9020