Sitting On Top Of The Blues
Deep Rush Records
Bobby Rush was born Emmit Ellis Jr. in Homer, Louisiana in 1933. As a youngster he befriended and played with Elmore James. He formed his own band and eventually moved to Chicago where he found work with Jimmy Reed. Rush’s music is a combination of blues, soul and funk. In 1971 his song “Chicken Heads” sold over 500,000 copies and became his first Gold certified single. Rush released his first album “Rush Hour” in 1979. This is his twenty-sixth studio album and 75th career release. Rush is a 2006 Blues Hall of Fame inductee with 48 Blues Music Award nominations winning twelve times. He is the 2015 B.B. King Entertainer of The Year. Rush also has three Grammy Award nominations and won a Grammy for his last album 2017’s “Porcupine Meat”. This is his follow-up recording to that spectacular album.
At 86 years of age, Rush states “I’m sitting on top of the blues. I’m a bluesman who’s sitting on the top of my game, proud of what I do and proud, of who I am and thankful for people accepting me for what I am and who I am…I’m happy about what I’m doing and still enthused about what I’m doing”.
“Sitting On Top Of The Blues” is being released on Rush’s own Deep Rush Records. The majority of the songs are co-produced by Rush and Vasti Jackson except where noted. The core band includes: Rush, vocals and harmonica; Jackson, guitar, bass and drums; and Patrick “Guitarboy” Hayes, guitar, slide and organ. All of the songs are written by Rush. The autobiographical opener “Hey, Hey, Bobby Rush” is co-produced by Rush, Jackson and Hayes. Jackson plays a resonator guitar; while adding a horn section featuring Alonzo Bowen, tenor and baritone sax; Michael Campo, trumpet; and Terrance Taplin, trombone. The horns are arranged by Jackson. Two more songs are produced by these three including the funky “Get Out of Here (Dog Named Bo)” and “Bowlegged Woman” both featuring Hayes on organ, Jackson on lead guitar and bass; and Terrance Higgins on drums.
Rush adds some harp to his infectious vocals on “Good Stuff” with Jackson playing guitar, bass and drums; and on the funky “Shake Til You Get Enough” and the amusing “Sweet Lizzy”, the latter two including the rhythm section of Tony Hall, bass; and Raymond Weber, drums; with Kieko Komaki on keyboards.
Rush gets a little frisky on “You Got The Goods On You” with the lyric “first time I saw you in your skin tights”; and on “Recipe For Love” with Jackson on an acoustic guitar. Things heat up a little more on the Louis Jordan influenced “Pooky Poo” with Jackson playing some lounge type guitar. On the sexy “Slow Motion” things boil over as Rush sings “I want to make love to your sexy body but first I want to make love to your mind”.
Included also is a fabulous harp instrumental the “Bobby Rush Shuffle” with guitarists Paul “Lil’ Buck” Sinegal and Roddie Romero; the rhythm section of Lee Allen Zeno, bass; and Doug Belote, drums; and Joe Krown playing piano in the background.
This is another highly recommended recording from Rush.