Episode 194: Bobby Rush
Bobby Rush is a storyteller. At 83, he’s no doubt told many of his best ones hundreds if not thousands of times, but as the consummate perform, he spins each one as it were the first time – even something as old and simple as the tale of how the son of a pastor became one of the foremost bluesmen of his generation. And while the musician has never taken himself too seriously, from his 1971 gold record, “Chicken Heads" (“I love that gal / I love them chicken heads too”) to this year’s Porcupine Meat (“Too fat to eat / Too lean to throw away.”) – but these past few years have given the musician opportunity to reflect on the importance of the blues and his role in the genre. Last year, his friend B.B. King passed on, and passed the torch in the process, playing some of his final shows with Rush and bestowing upon the musician the ‘B.B. King Entertainer of the Year’ award. And Rush is keenly aware of his place as the one of the last of a breed, still playing performing out with the energy of a man a third his age. On a stop over in New York, Rush sat down to discuss his six decade long career, the importance of the blues and, of course, how he got a song called “Chicken Heads” on the radio in 1971.