CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!
I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!
Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Bobby Rush garners second consecutive Grammy nomination plus Blues Music Award noms
BLUES LEGEND BOBBY RUSH GARNERS SECOND CONSECUTIVE BEST BLUES ALBUM GRAMMY NOMINATION
Rush’s Decisions, recorded with funk band Blinddog Smokin’
and special guest Dr. John,
continues to grab accolades with four Blues Music Award nominations
LOS ANGELES, Calif. —Twenty years in the making, Decisions, the first collaboration between blues legend Bobby Rush and Southern California bandBlinddog Smokin’, featuring six-time Grammy winner Dr. John, is being rewarded with end-of-the-year music industry honors including a recent Grammy nomination in the Best Blues Album category.
Also this week, Bobby Rush picked up four Blues Music Awards from the Blues Foundation, including B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. Decisions secured a Best Soul Blues nod and Best Song nom for “Another Murder in New Orleans,” written by Carl Gustafson and Donald Markowitz, performed by Rush and Dr. John w/Blinddog Smokin’.
Gustafson, the band leader, vocalist, and harmonica player of Blinddog Smokin,’ says, “I’d really like to see people in the United States take a look at [Bobby Rush and Dr. John]
and see what they have before they’re gone, and feel their power, feel
their love . . . Who knows how long Bobby or Mac are going to last? Now
we have a chance. We have the two of them together for the first time in
their careers, and they’re two of the rarest characters in American
to be in the running and to be involved is meaningful,” says Rush on
receiving his third Grammy nod. “It makes me feel like a winner already.
I want to thank everyone in the category, the voters, and anyone that
had anything to do with helping me get to where I am right now. I want
to thank everyone from a fan standpoint and from a voter standpoint for
everything they have done for Bobby Rush. I’m happy to be an old man but
this makes me feel young again.”
In October, Decisions won Best Soul Blues Album at the Blues Blast Music Awards, where Rush was also singled out with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Decisions is the first-ever teaming on record of three unlikely friends united by their love of the blues — Rush and Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack were both born in the same town of Homer, Louisiana.
Rush, 80 years old, continues his late-career emergence from the Chitlin’ Circuit underground to music mainstream. His crossover arguably began after achieving a Grammy nomination in 2000 for his album Hoochie Man, being featured in the “Road to Memphis” segment of the 2004 Martin Scorcese documentary The Blues, and last year’s Grammy-nominated record Down in Louisiana, which recently won Soul Blues Album of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards.
Rush performed in July on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with Dan Aykroyd and The Roots, as a part of the promo for the film Get On Up. Dan Aykroyd noted, “Okay, so like James Brown is gone, eh, and Richard Penniman a.k.a Little Richard … he’s not going to tour no more, and B.B. King is slowing down. Bobby Rush is the last one left of that generation.”
In September the documentary Take Me to the River came out in theaters nationwide, with a soundtrack on Stax Records/Concord Music Group. The film is about the soul of American music and follows the recording of a new album featuring legends from Stax Records and Memphis, mentoring and passing on their musical magic to stars and artists of today. Rush co-stars alongside Terrence Howard, Snoop Dogg, the late Bobby “Blue” Bland, Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, among others.
Rush, born Emmett Ellis, Jr.,
started playing music in his early teens, changing his name out of
respect for his preacher father and fronting, for a time, a band that
featured a young Elmore James on guitar. In his 20s, Rush landed in the booming Chicago blues scene where he bumped up against Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and, most notably, a back-alley neighbor, blues harmonica great Little Walter, whose example inspired Rush to master the instrument. In the ’80s Rush relocated to his current home of Jackson, Mississippi, where he embarked on the hard-touring career that has earned him the title of King of the Chitlin' Circuit.
about the time Rush was making his name in Chicago, Blinddog Smokin’
leader Carl Gustafson was learning the blues in, of all places, Laramie,
Wyoming. He ran away from home at 16, making it as far as the railroad
tracks and the Pic-A-Rib Café. Through the owner, Miss Peggy,
and her son Ricky, Gustafson learned about African-American culture and
through the establishment’s jukebox he discovered the sounds of
American blues and R&B, an experience detailed in Gustafson’s 2010
memoir Ain’t Just Blues, It’s Showtime: Hard times, heartache, and glory along Blues Highway.
In 1964, Gustafson started his first band, a James Brown-inspired 13-piece revue called Ali Baba & the Thieves.
In 1993 he founded Blinddog Smokin’, which has become a force on the
blues scene, playing 200-320 dates a year at juke joints, clubs, and
festivals around the world, including the Snowy Range Music Festival (which Gustafson directs) in Laramie, and the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, where in 1995 he met Bobby Rush.
was performing, and I was just mesmerized with his show,” Gustafson
recalls. “I met him afterwards, and it’s a weird thing: we just had a
connection and struck up a friendship. We started calling each other and
checking in on each other, and over the years started touring together.
One thing led to another, and we just got this strong bond between us.”
years later that friendship finally spilled over into the recording
studio, with Gustafson and his band — including drummer “Chicago” Chuck Gullens, bassist Roland “Junior Bacon” Pritzker, keyboardist/vocalist Mo Beeks, guitarist Chalo Ortiz, and backing vocalists Chris White (nephew of folk singer Josh White) and Gustafson’s wife Linda — backing Rush on ten songs plus a bonus song on Decisions.
leadoff track, “Another Murder in New Orleans,” paired Rush with
another longtime friend, New Orleans music legend Dr. John. Two of the
most colorful figures in the blues, Rush and Dr. John — whose real name
is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack Jr. — have known each
other for more than 50 years, first meeting as young men in their 20s on
the early 1960s R&B circuit and remaining good friends ever since.
they’re telling stories it’s hilarious because they’re talking about
bluesmen so ugly they had to turn their backs to the audience to play
guitar,” says Gustafson, a mutual friend of both men. “And in some cases
running from the same women.”
their decades-long relationship, Rush and Dr. John had never recorded
together until “Another Murder in New Orleans.” Written by Gustafson and
Decisions producer Donald Markowitz (an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy winner for the Dirty Dancing
soundtrack smash “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”), the song addresses in
graphic terms the street violence that has ravaged that city post-Hurricane Katrina, offering a message for change. The track was cut in New Orleans in 2012 around Mardi Gras. The setting inspired Gustafson to ask if Rush’s old friend might want to guest on the song, which the 74-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer eagerly did.
come up as kids together, man, but I never even thought about recording
together before,” says Rush. “How great is it that this late in the
game we can do something together while we can still talk about it and
smile about it and laugh about it? It came to pass, and I’m so proud I
did this with Dr. John.”
Murder in New Orleans” and Rush’s morals-seeking title track
“Decisions” are the rare serious notes on an otherwise light-hearted
blues romp that is rooted in Rush and Gustafson’s friendship. Other
songs include the autobiographical “Bobby Rush’s Bus,” about the
singer’s constantly-moving tour vehicle, “Funky Old Man,” the
rap-flavored “Dr. Rush,” the acoustic jam “Too Much Weekend,” and
“Skinny Little Women,” which tackles an issue Rush has been preoccupied
with for some time.
bitty woman why you always in the mirror talking ’bout how good you
look/You ought to be doing like that fat woman in the kitchen seeing
’bout how good you cook,” sings Rush, who had one of his biggest
successes in the ’90s with the album Lovin’ a Big Fat Woman.
“It’s a joke-y thing. But if you notice that little skinny ladies all
the time they look cute and good and smell good and look good. All
that’s good but the big lady has got somebody, too. She needs some
Bobby Rush continues to perform more than 200 concerts a year and into 2015 will do so in support of the latest Grammy nominated album Decisions, see his upcoming announced dates below. On the horizon, be on the lookout for a definitive anthology of Bobby Rush.
BOBBY RUSH on tourDecember 19 – JACKSON, MS – Christmas Party
December 20 – MEMPHIS, TN – Minglewood Hall December 23 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – Loyola University Hospital Holiday Party December 27 – LULA, MS – Isle of Capri Casino January 10 – TALLAHASSEE, FL - BCC January 17 – Robinsonville, MS – Sam’s Town Casino January 18 – 25 – Blues Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, FL March 13 – DETRTOIT, MI – Detroit Opera House March 14 – MERRILVILLE, IN (CHICAGO metro) – The Blues is Alright Tour April 17 – CHICAGO, IL – Buddy Guy’s Legends April 16 – JACKSON, MI – UAW Hall (7pm & 10pm) April 25 – SARASOTA, FL – SunCoast Blues Festival September 10-12 – Las Vegas, NV – Big Blues Bender (specific date TBA)
# # #
video for "Another Murder in New Orleans" by Dr. John and Bobby Rush
with Blinddog Smokin’ from the Grammy nominated album Decisions: http://youtu.be/UYOB5HW8gAc