Mr Bobby Rush
Sitting on Top of The World
Deep Rush Records/Thirty Tigers
Blurring the Danceable and Seductive Lines Between Blues and Soul
As a ‘Soulboy’ in the 1970’s and early 80’s I was very aware of Mr Bobby Rush, because a couple of songs from the Rush Hour LP were floor-fillers in one of the clubs I frequented; but in those days it was virtually impossible to buy any of his LP’s; so he has retained almost mythical status in the UK.
Jump forward 30+ years and I nearly choked on my Rice Krispies when I received the fabulous Porcupine Meat album two years ago; and on the back of that Grammy Winning success here’s the deserved follow up.
Starting with the self-aggrandising Hey Hey Bobby Rush I had the feeling that this album was going to be a lot less polished than Porcupine Meat, and more akin to a Live Show, and I think that’s a fair assessment; as this song and most of what follows has that frisson of excitement and sharpness that comes from just having one go at getting it right. With hindsight that’s probably more down to Scott Billington and Vasti Jackson’s razor sharp production …… there ain’t no fat on any of these songs.
For a man of his indeterminable age, Bobby Rush knows how to charm the ladies; and on the low down Recipe For Love he gives us young ‘uns an intro into his wisdom and on the dancelicious Shake (til’ you get enough) and album closer the raunchy Bowlegged Woman not a lot is left to the imagination ……… and it will have you singing along with the rambunctious chorus wherever you are, be it the bedroom or the kitchen!
I can’t vouch for the quality of songs on his first 24 studio albums, but the songs here just ooze class ………. with the sweet as molasses You Got the Goods On You and Sweet Lizzy transcending Rush’s Chitlin’ Circuit by being modern Soul Classics in my humble opinion.
I actually hated one song the first few times I heard it as Pooky Poo just seemed ‘twee’ but the more it unfolds it’s a top quality love song to and about the one love in his life …….. although Mrs Magpie baulks when I call her my Pooky Poo!
I keep harking back to the word ‘classy’ when I describe the songs here; and there’s no better word to describe the two contenders for RMHQ Favourite Song status; on the ‘Midnight Soul’ of Slow Motion Bobby goes deep into Barry White and Marvin Gaye territory and creates a song just perfect for turning the lights down low and needing a preamble to a night of luuuuurve! Rush’s famed harmonica playing is a feature throughout SITTING ON TOP OF THE BLUES, but never sounds finer than on this track when he sounds like it’s a metaphor for something I can’t find the words to describe.
The actual winner of the Favourite Track award is track #2 Good Stuff which is a red hot and sweaty love song that you can either seduce to, dance to or make love to …… it will work just as well in all scenarios.
Perhaps Mr Bobby Rush ‘peaked’ commercially with Porcupine Meat; but for me SITTING ON TOP OF THE BLUES is more of an album that represents the music both he and I have loved for all these years as he blurs the lines between Blues and Soul.
Released August 16th 2019