Bobby Rush (Grammy Award Winner!)
Daddy B. Nice's #5 ranked Southern Soul Artist
Bobby Rush (Grammy Award Winner!)
Composed by Bobby Rush
February 26, 2017:
Grammy Award Winner! Best Traditional Blues Album: PORCUPINE MEAT (Rounder)Buy Bobby Rush's PORCUPINE MEAT CD at Amazon.
At 83 and 374 albums later, Bobby Rush wins GRAMMY for Best Traditional Blues Album(From Blues Festival E-Guide "Blues News")
(Los Angeles, CA) – The 59th GRAMMY Awards were held on Feb 12, 2017, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Bobby Rush won Best Traditional blues Album for his album Porcupine Meat. “Wow,” Rush exclaimed as he reached the podium with his Grammy in hand,” Thank God, first of all, for letting me be here long enough to get one of these; for Rounder Records; my producer, Scott, Dorothy his lovely wife; my manager, staff, Lo who been with me for 100 years. I said it because this is my 374th record! And finally …and finally, after recording since 1951, I’m so thankful, because I’m 83 years. Thank all the staff at the record company who was so nice to me in doing this. Thank you for voting for me. Thank the Academy for thinking enough of me to put me in the line, because if I didn’t win, I’m still a winner, ‘cause I’m in the line.”
Then, like clockwork from this humble man’s heart he simply says, “All the… the guys that I [beat] out… this to you!” as he raised his GRAMMY up high.
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .
2. "Porcupine Meat"----Bobby Rush
Who says "slow" doesn't "swing"? Published by straight-blues label Rounder (a first for Rush), the promotional copies may not be flowing to the usual chitlin' circuit deejays, but that doesn't mean we can't partake. As legendary deejays like Ragman at Jackson, Mississippi's WMPR have long schooled us, you can't have your southern soul without a little blues, be it Albert King, B.B. King, Little Milton or Bobby Rush. Vasti Jackson's on lead guitar, Rush on his signature mouth harp.
Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Porcupine Meat" on YouTube.
Buy Bobby Rush's "Porcupine Meat" single from his new PORCUPINE MEAT CD at Amazon.
From Daddy B. Nice's 2016: The Year In Southern Soul: More great quotations from the songs of the year:"I tried to leave her many times before
And every time I leave,
I walk back for more…
It’s like porcupine meat,
Too fat to eat,
Too lean to throw away.
(“Porcupine Meat” Bobby Rush)"
See "2016: The Year In Southern Soul" on Daddy B. Nice's Corner
Enthusiastic Responses for Bobby Rush's PORCUPINE MEAT CD:(From Amazon's "Customer Reviews")
Addictive concoction!"Bobby Rush's mellow voice is as mesmeric as its always been...his latest album has some superlative writing supported by some wonderful guest musicians adding zing to this great album. The slow and easy rhythm of "Porcupine Meat(feat. Vasti Jackson)" is one brilliant song! Vasti Jackson's guitar improvisations and additional vocals are superb. "Snake in the Grass" with its very, very attractive guitar hook is addictive. "Me, Myself And I [feat Joe Bonamassa]" is a heart breaking song and is an anthem of the lovelorn ....I loved it! "Catfish Stew" with its wonderful brass section and a brisk groove, is extremely charming :-). "Nighttime Gardener [feat Keb Mo]" with its rocking, swinging rhythm is too good! Smashing good guitar improvisations. This is such a great album with brilliant songs and Bobby Rush's ageless voice weaving magic. Rush is like that addictive concoction that goes straight to the head. I don't want to get off this ride! :-) :-) :-)"
Bobby Rush - the Real Thing!"After listening to this record I was amazed to learn that Bobby is now 83 years old, he still sounds so vital and definitely has a playful spirit that comes across in his vocal delivery. With his mixture of blues, soul and funk he has been the most popular blues artist for black audiences in the South (on the Chitlin’ Circuit) since the 1980s when he returned to the South from Chicago, where his music career had begun in the 50s. This record is his first on the Rounder label and was recorded in New Orleans with Scott Billington (Solomon Burke, Charlie Rich, Irma Thomas) in the producer’s chair and some crack NOLA session players, as well as guests Keb' Mo', Joe Bonamassa, Vasti Jackson and Dave Alvin.
Bobby has been a prolific song writer over the years and this record sees more of his own compositions as well as a few co-compositions with Billington and his wife – “Catfish Stew” and “Snake in the Grass”. If some of the songs sound a bit familiar - for example the slow blues “Got Me Accused” is very similar to Eddie Boyd’s “Third Degree” – this probably reflects on Bobby’s long career and being steeped in the blues from an early age but this song is also eerily relevant today with recent police violence against black people. Elsewhere it’s Bobby’s more usual downhome themes of sex and food, on songs like “Midnight Gardener” (nothing to do with gardening!) with Keb’ Mo’ on slide guitar and the swampy title track, with Bobby playing nice harmonica. The backing throughout this record is very good and really compliments Bobby’s wonderful singing and song-writing, I particularly liked “Too Tired – Tangle Eye Mix” with its modern-sounding production."
Octogenarian blues master remains vital, funky and blue"You should hope to have this much life force at the age of 82. Sixty years into his career, and still logging more than two-hundred live dates each year, bluesman Bobby Rush sounds as vital as he did in his twenties. Born in Louisiana and musically schooled in Chicago clubs, he finally broke out as a solo artist in the early 1970s, adding soul and funk sounds to a blues base as he released a long string of albums and singles. This first release for Rounder teams him with producer Scott Billington and a slate of New Orleans musicians who double-down on Rush’s funky brand of the blue grooves. Rush’s voice is strong and his harmonica says as much as his lyrics.
At turns he’s ornery, defiant and stalwart in his own defense; he’s lived long enough to know what he wants, and what he doesn’t, but he’s not immune to the world’s irresistible forces. He’s a victim of circumstance, accused of crimes he didn’t commit and hamstrung by the siren’s call of mistreating women. The slow, spare blues of “Got Me Accused” provides the perfect space for a moving vocal and a deeply felt harmonica solo, and a horn section adds snap to the “Polk Salad Annie”-styled funk of “Catfish Stew.” Guests include Vasti Jackson, Dave Alvin, Joe Bonamassa and Keb’ Mo’, the latter adding his slide guitar to “Nighttime Gardener.” But Rush is the star of the show, and one who’s still shining bright and blue. [©2016 Hyperbolium]"
What a Rush!"If you've been every year or never, do yourself a favor and try like hell to make it to the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas the 2nd weekend of October. Bobby Rush is usually the headliner on Friday or Saturday night and he brings the house DOWN. Got a couple of big booty dancers that will have you dancing under the stars on the banks of the Mississippi river. And he's guaranteed to be funky like a monkey or your money back. You should buy this and everything else he's got in print! Go and see this venerable ladies man while he's still makin' a spill on the blues scene!"
Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Nightime Gardener" on YouTube, accompanied by Keb' Mo' on guitar.
October 1, 2016: NEW ALBUM ALERT
Sample/Buy Bobby Rush's New PORCUPINE MEAT CD at Amazon.
PORCUPINE MEAT Track List:
1 I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around
2 Porcupine Meat [feat. Vasti Jackson]
3 Got Me Accused
4 Snake In The Grass
5 Funk O' De Funk
6 Me, Myself And I [feat. Joe Bonamassa]
7 Catfish Stew
8 It's Your Move
9 Nighttime Gardener [feat. Keb' Mo']
10 I Think Your Dress Is Too Short
11 Standing On Shaky Ground
12 I'm Tired (Tangle Eye Mix)
Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Porcupine Meat" on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice notes:
Although he holds down only the #5 spot on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100: 21st Century Southern Soul Countdown, Bobby Rush, by virtue of his parallel recording career (southern soul albums--i.e. "Night Fishing"--for African-Americans and straight-blues albums primarily for Caucasians) is by far the most famous living southern soul artist.
His new album, published on renowned blues label Rounder Records, continues the 82-year-old Rush's latter-day courtship of the "national" (straight-blues) audience and his self-acknowledged pursuit of a Grammy. The track "I Think Your Dress Is Too Short copies the minimalist melody of Bob Steele's "Yo Dress Is Too Short" but at a slower tempo with new lyrics. Guest artists include southern soul's Vasti Jackson and national blues recording artists Joe Bonamassa and Keb' Mo'.
Note: Bobby Rush also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). The "21st Century" after Bobby Rush's name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.
"I ain't henpecked.
I been pecked by the right hen."
For the latest updates on Bobby Rush, scroll down to the "Tidbits" section. To automatically link to Bobby Rush's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Rush, Bobby" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's 21st Century Countdown (Revised) Profile of Bobby RushAugust 1, 2013:
At the end of Denise LaSalle's "Older Woman," and her voice-over dissertation on the disrespect older women endure from their men, Bobby Rush suddenly pops up out of nowhere.
"Hey Denise," he says. "This is Bobby Rush. I'm over 72 and I can still beat the young men doing whatever they think they can do."
And, you know, that's about right. Bobby Rush is a vocalist of extraordinary expressiveness--an expressiveness so effortless it never draws attention to itself. This disheveled genius with his contortionist musical history, his spasmodic inspiration and his byzantine discography has never once conceded his primacy as a number-one stud of--by turns--Southern Soul and/or The Blues.
And in the 21st Century, especially the last decade, Bobby Rush has alternated between the two genres, laying down a blues album like Raw to the east and a southern soul album like Night Fishin' to the west, never failing to grab and explore the authentic heart of either.
Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's) showcased the long-overlooked but super-charged, dancefloor hook of Bobby Rush's "Bare Mouth Woman."
"Crazy 'Bout You," Bobby Rush's delicate, soulful and atypically beautiful ballad of record, has likewise been Daddy B. Nice's longstanding pick for Rush's "B-side" (#2-song).
However, "Crazy 'Bout You" goes all the way back to 1992 and Rush's Handy Man CD, while "Bare Mouth Woman" harks back to the turn of the century (2000) on Rush's Hoochie Man CD.
So it only seems fitting, in light of updating Bobby Rush for the 21st Century, to showcase the song which, perhaps more than any other, made Bobby Rush relevant to the contemporary Southern Soul audience: Night Fishin'".
The title tune of Rush's Night Fishin' CD (Deep Rush, 2005), "Night Fishin' equates looking for a one-night stand with angling for catfish, ergo "The catfish bite better at night."
The diminutive tune also squeezes in a reference to "private fishing holes," which Sheba Potts-Wright most famously reiterated in an "answer" song called "Private Fishing Hole," with even wittier double-entendres.
But more importantly, "Night Fishin'" recycles the quintessential riff of Bobby Rush's career, the descending progression of notes that instantly identifies his signature hits "Sue" and "I Ain't Studdin' Ya," a similarity that can be readily confirmed by singing the lyrics to any of the three songs over the background to either of the other two.
Here are, roughly speaking, four milestones that have greatly enhanced your Daddy B. Nice's appreciation and understanding of Bobby Rush in the 21st Century:
1/ Bobby Rush is a captivator, a tale-spinner, a cogitator and a street philosopher of the first order. This was made evident for the nation and the world to see in 2003, when acclaimed movie director Martin Scorsese ("Mean Streets," "Good Fellas," etc.) included interviews and concert footage of Bobby Rush in his popular PBS documentary on "The Blues":
Listen to excerpts from Bobby Rush segments in Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey DVD: on YouTube.
Buy Complete 3-hour DVD of Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues.
2/ Bobby Rush's YouTube videos, almost entirely concert postings, brought Rush's stage antics to everyone unable to attend his concerts in person. In particular, the concert footage brought Rush's onstage dancing girls to the forefront, especially the twurking phenomenon, Ms. Lowe, who has become an underground celebrity with her own following.
Listen to Bobby Rush singing and Ms. Lowe dancing to "Show You A Good Time" on YouTube.
Inspired by the Bobby Rush stage show, recording artist Sweet Angel constructed an entire song ("A Girl Like Me") around the riff to "Sue"-"I Ain't Studdin' Ya"-Night Fishin'" and recounted her own personal encounters with Bobby Rush, trying to convince him to let her be one of his dancers.
Listen to Sweet Angel singing "A Girl Like Me" Live Onstage on YouTube.
See many more YouTube postings of Bobby Rush and his dancers by scrolling down to the "Tidbits" section (#1) below.
3/ Bobby Rush recorded this one-of-a-kind acoustic blues number on his Blind Snake album:
"I'm a November child.
I'm a Scorpio.
Traveled the world
From coast to coast.
Singing the blues
Wherever I go.
Bobby Rush is my name.
That's my thing.
Making love to my baby
Is my fame to claim.
I don't want nobody
Having no hard feelings with me."
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Review For. . .
"No Hard Feelin' With Me"-----Bobby Rush
When I heard DJ Handyman playing this autobiographical nugget of pure acoustic blues on WMPR (Jackson, Ms.) afternoon after afternoon the past couple of weeks, I thought it was from Rush's new DOWN IN LOUISIANA album. I wrote it down as, "Bobby Rush, stunning new acoustic blues."
It's the most primal Bobby Rush I've ever heard, kind of an "Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own" take-off, but also much more, and although it dates back to the BLIND SNAKE LP, "No Hard Feelin' With Me" is too vivid and honest and full of life not to recommend to others who also missed it.
Sorry. No YouTube, which points to its being overlooked.
Sample/Buy Bobby Rush's "No Hard Feelin' With Me" mp3
4/ Finally, in 2013, the first book on contemporary Southern Soul music was published (Southern Soul-Blues by David Whiteis, University of Illinois Press), and the most intriguing and complex interview in the section devoted to artist portraits was the chapter on Bobby Rush. Here the fan finds one of the genre's undisputed statesmen delving into his art, his past, the contemporary scene and diverse other topics with an intensity and ambivalence all too human.
Buy David Whiteis's SOUTHERN SOUL-BLUES book with a chapter on Bobby Rush at Amazon.
Here's an excerpt that displays Bobby Rush's deep-seated pride and orneriness (sometimes called "contrariness"). In the first passage he's describing the mind games played with a white promoter; in the second he's defying--as deftly as a gambler flipping a quarter--the opposite expectations of a black promoter:
In one instance, Bobby recalls, a promoter told him, "I want you to work this show for me, but I want to ask you something. Can you work without the girls?"
"Study it!" (Bobby says.) "...I said 'Sure I can.' I signed the contract. I had four girls with me at the time. When I got to Florida, I had ten. She said, 'Oh, God, I thought you could work without the girls.'
"'I said I CAN--I didn't say I WOULD.'
"'Cause I knew what she was getting at. Now she said. 'This is a family-oriented show.'
"She underestimated me. When I got up there, the girls had the gowns on. They didn't turn around (to show butts or twurk). And I even did some gospel.
"She said, 'Oh, I didn't know you could do that.'
"I said, 'Because you underestimated me. You underestimated my intelligence.'"
In the second instance, Bobby Rush is talking about a male promoter:
"I went to work last year. I did my acoustic thing. The man, he loved it, but he said, 'I thought you were bringing the band.'
"'You hired Bobby Rush,' I said. 'I didn't tell you about bringing no band. You hired Bobby Rush.'
"'I thought the girls gonna be on this show.'
"I said, 'I didn't tell nobody they would or they wouldn't. I decided I wouldn't use them tonight.'
"I didn't tell him I wasn't gonna bring nobody. I didn't tell him I was gonna come with the acoustic."
From David Whiteis' SOUTHERN SOUL-BLUES. Buy the book at Barnes & Noble.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Bobby Rush (Grammy Award Winner!)
Bobby Rush was born Emmit Ellis Jr. in Homer, Louisiana in 1940. His family moved to Chicago in the fifties, and in the sixties he began singing in West Side blues bars. But by the early seventies he had left traditional blues for a musical style more suited to the chitlin' circuit, where his performing skills and his penchant for adult-rated material were a natural draw.
Honorary "B" Side
"Bare Mouth Woman"
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