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Published on September 21st, 2021 | by TLV News


Bobby Rush Headlines at Oxford Blues Festival on Friday, September 24

Bobby Rush takes the stage at Harrison’s at 9:15 pm

Two-time GRAMMY award winner Bobby Rush will close out Friday night of the 10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival, following acts such as CadillacFunk, Effie Burt, and Lightnin Malcolm. Rush is renowned blues legend, Blues Hall of Famer, twelve-time Blues Music Award winner, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, and makes a cameo in the Netflix Original Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy.

After decades of tearing up the chitlin’ circuit on a nightly basis with his sweaty, no-holds-barred funkfests, Bobby has thoroughly broken through to the mainstream. He won a long-overdue 2017 GRAMMY for his spectacular album Porcupine Meat and consistently tours the globe as a headliner. What’s more, Bobby’s newest album Sitting on Top of the Blues on his own Deep Rush imprint (distributed by Thirty Tigers) promises to further spread the news that this revered legend, well past 80 years of age even if his stratospheric energy level belies the calendar, is bigger and badder and bolder than ever. In December 2019 – January 2020, the album was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Blues Album and for a Blues Music Award for Best Soul Blues Album.

Bobby Rush at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland Drive Jackson, Mississippi 39216. Photos for the album “Sitting on top of the Blues.” © photo by Bill Steber

 “I’m sitting on top of the blues. I’m a bluesman who’s sitting on the top of my game, proud of what I do and proud of who I am and thankful for people accepting me for what I am and who I am,” says the charismatic Rush. “I’m happy about what I’m doing and still enthused about what I’m doing. And I think we’ve got some good songs.”

That’s a profound understatement. There’s something for everyone on Sitting on Top of the Blues, from the boisterous R&B-laced opener “Hey Hey Bobby Rush” through the cooking “Good Stuff,” the sexy “Slow Motion,” and a stripped-down “Recipe For Love” that features Bobby and his co-producer Vasti Jackson supplying all the accompaniment necessary with their interlocking guitars. Rush wails on pungent harmonica throughout the set, his vocals as sly and sensuous as ever while elastic grooves simmer and surge behind him. Rush has been a master storyteller for decades, and the songs on this disc follow in that tradition.

In June of this year, Rush released I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story, a memoir that charts his extraordinary rise to fame and still-extensive tour schedule, which earned him the nickname “King of the Chitlin Circuit” by Rolling Stone. Rush will be a guest on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour at the Old Armory Pavilion Thursday, October 21, to discuss the book, which is currently available at Square Books.

Oxford Blues Festival tickets are on sale now at www.oxfordbluesfest.com, and you can also walk up and buy tickets the day of the events. There is an early bird option if you buy online, so it will be cheaper than if you walk up and buy tickets. General Admission is $35 per day, or you can get a two-day pass for $55.

The VIP experience runs $180 per day, or two-days for $300. VIP perks make the higher ticket price well worth it with special padded seating close to the stage, shade tents, catered food, free beverages, a special cash bar, a private entry, and high-end bathrooms. You can find more details about VIP perks on the website.

Photos by Bill Steber

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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