Bobby Rush is a living blues legend. The Louisiana-born singer/multi-instrumentalist has played alongside the likes of Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Howlin’ Wolf over the course of a career that’s spanned more than half a century. The sprawling “Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush” pays tribute to a man who’s made countless contributions to blues, soul and funk.
“Truly I feel honored that someone would think enough of me to do this,” the 82-year-old Rush says of the four-CD, 74-track collection. “The record side of it is the glory side of me and that’s the side that I want people to know and I’, grateful for that. I’m happy that someone thought before I leave this land to tell my story.”
Rush is still going strong, performing more than 200 shows a year. He’s been nominated for three Grammys and 41 Blues Music Awards (winning 10 times). Clocking in at almost five hours, “Chicken Heads” is the definitive Bobby Rush collection.
The set is a must for longtime Rush fans and anyone who loves the blues. The songs hold up remarkably well after all the years, with Rush especially impressive on “Someday,” “GottaHave Money,” “Chicken Heads,” “Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man Part 1,” “She Put the Whammy on Me,” “Sue,” “Making a Decision,” “What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander,” “Hen Pecked,” “She’s So Fine,” “Scootchin’,” “Tough Titty,” “Take Me to the River,” “Howlin’ Wolf,” “Down in Louisiana,” “Swing Low” and “If That’s the Way You Like It” (with Blinddog Smokin’). Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)