Last night at the best spot in Los Angeles for roots music lovers, The Mint LA, I had the pleasure of seeing THE Bobby Rush for the second time. The first time I saw the legendary blues-soul singer from Homer, Louisiana at SXSW in Austin two years ago, I was impressed that well into his 80s he was doing a solo set of acoustic blues, which took me back to a time and place I have never been, but imagined I might have via my distant ancestors.
Last night, I saw Mr. Rush jumping and dancing on stage with a full electric band (including the sax player touring with The Rolling Stones, THE Stones). He was so full of energy and zest, that at half his age, I was a little embarrassed that I almost didn’t come out because I was tired! He brought the entire sold-out crowd to their feet, and unexpectedly, I rediscovered that I too could find that passion I had seemed to lost for live music in the past year. Next thing I know I was hootin’ and hollerin’ and dancing around to the pure, unadulterated (and I mean unadulterated) blues.
Straight from the chitlin’ circuit, he brought a bit of southern blues-soul history to some lucky blues fans in LA. The man who knew Willie Dixon, played with Etta James, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Howling Wolf, among others, is unstoppable. He just released an epic box-set, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History Of Bobby Rush, received two back-to-back Grammy nominations for albums released in 2014, Down in Louisiana
and 2015, Decisions, and is set to record ANOTHER brand new album, with equally legendary roots-producer, Scott Billington.
Bobby Rush is touring the U.S. (Tucson on Jan 28th, Austin on Jan 30th, then onto Nashville, Mississippi, Illinois, St. Louis, Texas, and Ohio all in February and March). Please go see him if you are in those areas. Considering he is one of the last of his generation, a stellar musician, with a stellar band, you will get more than your return in time and money to see a living American treasure in person.