*Jackson, MS — On Bobby Rush’s new CD Blind Snake (Deep Rush) the bluesman returns to some time-tested themes but once again explores new musical territory.
In addition to several gospel songs he includes a Christmas-oriented take of the title track, which otherwise fits pretty squarely into the Bobby Rush mold.
“The Christmas version of Blind Snake is about a man coming to a house as Santa Claus, bringing a woman whatever she would like,” explains Rush. “He says he’s bringing her something she’s never seen before, but the woman’s been around and what he’s bringing she might have seen yesterday.”
Rush’s take of People Don’t Do, a commentary on modern life, draws from a song originally performed by the gospel group Slim and the Supreme Angels. According to Rush the song, which he follows with a version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot, applies equally to the secular world.
“You can see it from a church standpoint, but as a blues singer I also see that it’s a different world now,” says Rush. “I didn’t do a serious gospel song but just put some Bobby Rush in it.”
Rush is on more familiar ground with If You Don’t Treat Me Better and plays in a classic Chicago style on She Alright, She Alright and a cover of Willie Dixon’s Make Love to You. The record also dips into country blues traditions via Bryan Ward’s mandolin and dobro work, and on the autobiographical Chinkapin Huntin’ Rush recalls his earliest years with the blues.
Although wide-ranging, Rush nevertheless sees the record as reflecting his artistic core.
“I can do the full show with the girls, do a trio, or play solo acoustic, but my story is pretty much the same,” says Rush. “I still sing about big women, little women, being in love, and makin’ love.”