Bobby Rush

Porcupine Meat

bobby-rush

Bobby Rush launched his career in Little Rock, singing and playing with Elmore James. He blossomed in Chicago in the ’50s, sharing gigs with Muddy, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, and Jimmy Reed, and sharing the stage with Luther Allison and Earl Hooker. With a style blending southern R&B and raw blues, he built an edgy, distinctly Southern sound that earned him international admiration and acclaim. After releasing material on his own label, the 82-year-old Rush signed on with Rounder for this latest album, where he’s joined by several guests.

The title song showcases Rush’s rough voice and Vasti Jackson’s guitar. Jackson and Shane Theriot handle guitar behind Rush on most other tunes, creating the swampy rhythms bubbling under “I Think Your Dress Is Too Short” and others.

Joe Bonamassa joins in on the medium tempo, Memphis-flavored “Me, Myself And I,” bisecting the song with one of his typical, screaming breaks.

“It’s Your Move” adds Dave Alvin, who frames Rush with a sharp, intense solo. Keb’ Mo’s slide licks add an overtly Delta feel to Rush’s vocal on the shuffling, raunchy “Nighttime Gardener.” Jackson’s slide guitar enhances “I’m Tired,” a primitive performance reminiscent of the earliest postwar Chicago blues.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.