Bobby Rush Raw: An Intimate Night of Stories & Songs
Two solo Bobby Rush solo shows will stream live via Mandolin Sunday, May 16th and Sunday, May 23rd at 7pm CT. You can hear the music and experience the story, based on Bobby’s new book, I Ain’t Studdin’ You, My American Blues Story. Purchase tickets for the live stream here.
His memoir charts the extraordinary rise to fame of living blues legend, Bobby Rush. Born Emmett Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, he adopted the stage name Bobby Rush out of respect for his father, a pastor. As a teenager, Rush acquired his first real guitar and started playing in juke joints in Little Rock, Arkansas, donning a fake mustache to trick club owners into thinking he was old enough to gain entry. He led his first band in Arkansas between Little Rock and Pine Bluff in the 1950s. It was there he first had Elmore James play in his band. Rush later relocated to Chicago to pursue his musical career and started to work with Earl Hooker, Luther Allison, and Freddie King, and sat in with many of his musical heroes, such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Little Walter. Rush eventually began leading his own band in the 1960s, crafting his own distinct style of funky blues, and recording a succession of singles for various labels. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that Rush finally scored a hit with “Chicken Heads.” More recordings followed, including an album which went on to be listed in the Top 10 blues albums of the 1970s by Rolling Stone and a handful of regional jukebox favorites including “Sue” and “I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya.”