Get this crazy baby off my head!


Otis Rush

Otis Rush - Any Place I'm Going - 1998 - House of Blues

A Grade A Grammy award winning album of bitter- sweet Chicago soul and blues, smooth on the surface, but with an underlying raw edge. Buy his famed "Right Place, Wrong Time" album, and listen to his masterful "Lost in the Blues" album.


You Fired Yourself - Willie Mitchell, Thomas Bingham
Keep on Loving Me Baby - Otis Rush
Part Time Love - Clay Hammond
I Got the Blues - Leo Nocentelli
The Right Time - Lew Herman
Looking Back - Otis Rush
Any Place I'm Going (Beats Any Place I've Been) - Will Jennings, John Porter, Otis Rush
Laughin' and Clownin' - Sam Cooke
Pride and Joy - Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson, Norman Whitfield
Have You Ever Had the Blues - Lloyd Price, Harold Logan
Walking the Back Streets and Crying - Sandy Jones


Otis Rush (Guitar) , (Vocals)
Leroy Hodges (Guitar (Bass))
Thomas Bingham (Guitar (Rhythm)
Steve Potts (Percussion), (Drums)
Lester Snell (Organ), (Piano)
Scott Thompson (Trumpet)
James Mitchell (Sax (Baritone)
Mashaa, William Brown, Bertram Brown (Vocals (Background)
Recorded at Royal Recording Studio, Memphis, Tennessee.


This album on the House of Blues label is a bit smoother and more slickly produced (by Rush and famed Memphis producer Willie Mitchell) than Rush's classic, rough-edged Chess recordings, but there's still plenty here to like. With a solid horn section backing him on most cuts, Rush gets ample room to show off his razor-sharp guitar chops. And his distinctive, emotionally charged voice remains a true blues treasure. In addition to his own no-nonsense originals, Rush draws on some familiar tunes from classic soul and blues performers like Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Nappy Brown, and Little Milton. © Joel Roberts Alll Music Guide

As a Chicago born and bred reviewer, I have always been a fan of the blues artists that have called Chi town home. And there is no better representative of the sound than bluesman "Otis Rush," who has been a presence since '56. What he hasn't been, is recording his own albums, at least for the past four years, outside of re-releases of older material, all on indy labels. Now The House of Blues has brought us a new album filled with revivals of classic blues music, played by Otis in his inimitable style. Known for his lefthanded, upside down guitar play (using a right-handed Gibson), Otis delivers solid licks full of intensity that show he's a master of the craft, with eleven slices of prime blues. He reprises his own first hit, "Keep On Loving Me Baby," and adds a new one, "Any Place I'm Going." He revives such classics as "Sam Cooke's" "Laughin' and Clownin'," the perfect song to showcase his intense vocals, while "Lloyd Price's" "Have You Ever Had The Blues," "Nappy Smith's" "The Right Time" and "Little Milton's" "Walking The Back Streets and Crying," are full of the vibrato-rich guitar play that defines the "West Side" style. The opening cut, producer Willie Mitchell's "You Fired Yourself," gets you hooked from the first guitar riffs. Otis' "I told you so" vocal expression sets the tone for the whole album. Kudo's to the producer for knowing his own music enough to pick out this song for Otis to do. Turn up the volume you're in for a treat, for this is also a technically clean disc. Want to hear a guitar talk to you? Listen to the opening of "Keep On Loving Me Baby," and compare it to the vocals from Otis that follow. The inflection in his voice is the same you heard from his guitar a moment before. Otis once said you didn't have to have the blues to play them and you certainly don't have to have them to listen to them. So give yourself a "Rush" and you'll be glad to say "I Got The Blues." Review Donn Jehs, © 1998 by Mary Ellen Gustafson, www.music-reviewer.com/12_98/soul16b.htm


Breaking into the R&B Top Ten his very first time out in 1956 with the startlingly intense slow blues "I Can't Quit You Baby," southpaw guitarist Otis Rush subsequently established himself as one of the premier bluesmen on the Chicago circuit. He remains so today. Rush is often credited with being one of the architects of the West side guitar style, along with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. It's a nebulous honor, since Otis Rush played clubs on Chicago's South side just as frequently during the sound's late-'50s incubation period. Nevertheless, his esteemed status as a prime Chicago innovator is eternally assured by the ringing, vibrato-enhanced guitar work that remains his stock-in-trade and a tortured, super-intense vocal delivery that can force the hairs on the back of your neck upwards in silent salute. If talent alone were the formula for widespread success, Rush would currently be Chicago's leading blues artist. But fate, luck, and the guitarist's own idiosyncrasies have conspired to hold him back on several occasions when opportunity was virtually begging to be accepted. Rush came to Chicago in 1948, met Muddy Waters, and knew instantly what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. The omnipresent Willie Dixon caught Rush's act and signed him to Eli Toscano's Cobra Records in 1956. The frighteningly intense "I Can't Quit You Baby" was the maiden effort for both artist and label, streaking to number six on Billboard's R&B chart. His 1956-58 Cobra legacy is a magnificent one, distinguished by the Dixon-produced minor-key masterpieces "Double Trouble" and "My Love Will Never Die," the nails-tough "Three Times a Fool" and "Keep on Loving Me Baby," and the rhumba-rocking classic "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)." Rush apparently dashed off the latter tune in the car en route to Cobra's West Roosevelt Road studios, where he would cut it with the nucleus of Ike Turner's combo. After Cobra closed up shop, Rush's recording fortunes mostly floundered. He followed Dixon over to Chess in 1960, cutting another classic (the stunning "So Many Roads, So Many Trains") before moving on to Duke (one solitary single, 1962's "Homework"), Vanguard, and Cotillion (there he cut the underrated Mike Bloomfield-Nick Gravenites-produced 1969 album Mourning in the Morning, with yeoman help from the house rhythm section in Muscle Shoals). Typical of Rush's horrendous luck was the unnerving saga of his Right Place, Wrong Time album. Laid down in 1971 for Capitol Records, the giant label inexplicably took a pass on the project despite its obvious excellence. It took another five years for the set to emerge on the tiny Bullfrog label, blunting Rush's momentum once again (the album is now available on HighTone). An uneven but worthwhile 1975 set for Delmark, Cold Day in Hell, and a host of solid live albums that mostly sound very similar kept Rush's gilt-edged name in the marketplace to some extent during the 1970s and '80s, a troubling period for the legendary southpaw. In 1986, he walked out on an expensive session for Rooster Blues (Louis Myers, Lucky Peterson, and Casey Jones were among the assembled sidemen), complaining that his amplifier didn't sound right and thereby scuttling the entire project. Alligator picked up the rights to an album he had done overseas for Sonet originally called Troubles, Troubles. It turned out to be a prophetic title: much to Rush's chagrin, the firm overdubbed keyboardist Lucky Peterson and chopped out some masterful guitar work when it reissued the set as Lost in the Blues in 1991. Finally, in 1994, the career of this Chicago blues legend began traveling in the right direction. Ain't Enough Comin' In, his first studio album in 16 years, was released on Mercury and ended up topping many blues critics' year-end lists. Produced spotlessly by John Porter with a skin-tight band, Rush roared a set of nothing but covers — but did them all his way, his blistering guitar consistently to the fore. Once again, a series of personal problems threatened to end Rush's long-overdue return to national prominence before it got off the ground. But he's been in top-notch form in recent years, fronting a tight band that's entirely sympathetic to the guitarist's sizzling approach. Rush signed with the House of Blues' fledgling record label, instantly granting that company a large dose of credibility and setting himself up for another career push. It still may not be too late for Otis Rush to assume his rightful throne as Chicago's blues king. © Bill Dahl, allmusic.com