All Your Love, I Miss Loving
Live at The Wise Fools Pub, Chicago
It was a “cold day in hell” on Chicago’s West Side in January, 1976. Otis Rush was about to take the stage at The Wise Fools Pub. Otis Rush was a guitarist of unquestionable talent and a singer with great range; and on this night Otis was in peak form. He was once again at home, a night when he brought along, Bob Levis, guitar; Bob Stroger, bass; Jesse Green, drums; and Alberto Giaquinto, piano. Rawl Hardman and “Red” Mason were to later join on saxes. Ken Rasek was on the board. It was being broadcasted on WXRT and as I listen to it now, it is almost surreal.
Opening with BB King’s “Please Love Me”, the guitar is suspended in time with its stinging ring as Otis sings, “I want you to be my girlfriend and I’ll be your boy”. On BB’s “You’re Breaking My Heart”, the punctuating guitar and voice are in a passionate duet. Other BB King tunes included are “Woke Up This Morning”, “Sweet Little Angel” and an eight-minute version of “Gambler’s Blues” which shows us why BB King called Otis his favorite guitarist.
Otis sings two songs associated with T-Bone Walker, “Mean Old World” and “High Society”. “Will My Woman Be Home Tonight” is an instrumental credited to producer Mel London, but supposedly based on a familiar riff belonging to Earl Hooker, a blues guitar master. It is magnificently performed here by Otis who bends and shapes it as only he can.
The original composition “All Your Love (I Miss Loving)” opens with a great guitar intro, as Otis sings “before I met you baby, I didn’t know what I was missing”. The other original “It Takes Time”, is performed as passionately as ever. Otis finishes with Chuck Willis’ “Feel So Bad”, and the Jimmy Smith instrumental “Motoring Along”.
The blues performed here is timeless. Otis Rush is a living legend, and this Delmark performance, finally released in 2005, is a must to own.
This is a reprint from Richard Ludmerer.