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Bobby Rush Is Rawer Than Raw

Written by Randy Patterson

Posted September 2020


Bobby Rush at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland DriveJackson, Mississippi 39216. Photos for the album "Sitting on top of the Blues." © photo by Bill SteberWe at Boomerocity fell in love with Bobby Rush when we had the opportunity to chat with him (here)shortly after his first ever Grammy win three years ago. He’s got an amazing heart and attitude in addition to his mind-blowing blues talent. We just love the guy!

Bobby recently released his latest album, Rawer Than Raw - a stripped down, acoustic tribute to the rich blues history of Mississippi featuring songs from a handful of blues greats from his adopted home state.

The record, on the 86-year-old’s own Deep Rush Records label in partnership with Thirty Tigers, is a follow-up to Rush’s Grammy-nominated 2019 album Sitting on Top of the Blues, and his first project since his acclaimed cameo in last year’s Golden Globe-nominated Eddie Murphy film hit Dolemite Is My Name.

Rawer Than Raw Cover Click On This Album Cover To Order Your Copies Today!Partly inspired by the popular series of intimate solo concerts Rush has made a mainstay of his concert calendar in the years since his first all-acoustic album (titled Raw), Rawer Than Raw casts a spotlight on five Mississippi Blues Hall of Famers: early acoustic blues greats Skip James and Robert Johnson, and Rush’s contemporaries on the music scene of the ’50s and ’60s,Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Muddy Waters. The record features a half dozen covers of some of their best-known songs rendered in Rush’s own inimitable, acoustic style, characterized by wailing harmonica and a stomping foot to keep the rhythm. There are also five Rush originals — “Down in Mississippi,” “Let Me in Your House,” “Sometimes I Wonder,” “Let’s Make Love Again,” and “Garbage Man,” all credited under his given name, Emmett Ellis, Jr. — whose country vibe matches the songs that inspired the album.

The video to the right is a slide show over the audio of a brief conversation we recently had with the blues great. It’s worth your time listening to. After listening to it, why not go ahead and order a few copies of Rawer Than Raw. One for your own listening library and some as gifts for the upcoming holidays. You can also keep up with Mr. Rush at his website,