Bobby Rush Talks About Life, The Blues and His Grammy

Written by Randy Patterson

Posted April 2017

 

BobbyRush001Almost anyone who is into music has at least a little appreciation for the blues. Personally, I love it. Some appreciate it. Still others don’t care for it at all. It’s history is long and, well, bluesy. The founding artists of the genre typically died poor, destitute, and (sometimes) under – shall we say – under circumstances that is the stuff of folk lore.

Ever since Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil at the infamous crossroads so that he could play the blues, the genre has lured many musicians and fans alike into its soul-gripping web.

Boomerocity has interviewed some great blues men and women like John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Walter Trout, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Derek Trucks, Kim Simmonds, and others.

Recently, long-time blues vocalist, Bobby Rush, was finally honored with his first Grammy. At eighty-three years old, it’s a long overdue honor for the blues legend.

I called up Mr. Rush while he was resting up before a performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We chatted about the Grammy and the album that he won it for; his upbringing as well as his experiences in all of his years in the business. While you may be tempted to just read this, I encourage you to listen to the audio embedded to the right of this article. To hear him tell his story is a cherished treat in itself.

When I started off by congratulating Bobby Rush for his Grammy, he expressed genuine gratitude and humility.

“It was long overdue but it’s better to come late than never, you know? That’s my attitude about it. I’m happy ‘bout it and

just so grateful. Why it hadn’t come before now we won’t even think about that. It’s just come now. Let’s grab the pieces now and run with it.

“Let me say this to you: My mind was made that even if I didn’t bring it home, I was a winner because I was in the race! That’s my attitude about it because to be in the race – I accept this because of a lot of guys I beat out was more qualified than me. That don’t mean I would’ve been happy if I didn’t bring it home but, nevertheless, there’s millions of guys who hadn’t gotten it and do as much as I do – it could be more. But I just appreciate it and I appreciate the guys I’d been running with – who I was in the race with - although I won and they loss. That’s the way it goes. Some win. Some lose. We all are friends in spite of that business stuff.”

Because he has been in the blues business for sixty years, I asked what has been the biggest changes that he has seen in the music business from the beginning until now. 

“The biggest thing I saw, I guess, is opportunity that I didn’t have when I first

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