Bobby Rush is known mostly for his flamboyant stage shows, bawdy material and big band productions. Bobby, who came up with the giants like Muddy and Wolf, has carved out his own niche, mixing soul and funk with deep blues. Here, though, Rush makes quite a different statement. The 77-year-old’s energy belies his age with a stripped down, funky combo effort drawn from his origins in the swamps and juke joints. It’s a gumbo of sorts which Rush describes this way: “I’ve done the same thing with Cajun, reggae, pop, rock and blues, and it all sounds only like Bobby Rush.”
Rush peppers well-known conventions throughout as in with “You’re Just Like a Dresser” alongside Robert Johnson and in his own “Don’t You Cry.” Nonetheless, Rush puts his own indelible stamp on the blues canon with his guitar, harmonica and vocals. After all, he has stood side by side with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, James Brown and B.B. King. He could easily be content with plying his patented sound but like the true innovator he’s always been, Rush wants to offer something new. Take heed. There aren’t many original bluesmen left.
– Jim Hynes
(Look for our exclusive interview with Bobby Rush in the March/April issue of Elmore Magazine, coming soon!)