ARTIST: Otis Rush
TITLE: The Essential Otis Rush: The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-58
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: These are the A’s and B’s of his Cobra singles. I Can’t Quit You Baby hit #6 on the R&B Chart.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Double Trouble
LINEUP: Otis Rush, possibly Willie Dixon, Ike Turner, John Williams, and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Chicago blues singles from influential bluesman.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Along with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, Otis Rush had the distinctive Chicago Blues sound from his guitar. Playing lefty with the guitar strung for a righty, Rush’s bent notes and tones were influential for many bluesmen in Chicago, and those who followed in the US and UK.
In the three years at Cobra, he recorded eight singles that were influential and somewhat popular with the blues audience. However, Cobra’s financial problem somewhat limited their ability to promote Rush and others on the label. Still, enough heard him to make his songs mainstays for blues bands going forward.
None of these tracks were on an album until the CD era, so they were only available on compilations or if you happened to chance across a 45. While Rush’s sound was more commercial than some other bluesmen (with horn sections and arrangements softening it up a bit), he’s still an important figure shaping the blues rock and blues movement.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Chicago declared June 12, 2-016 at Otis Rush Day.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There are some alternate takes at the end of the collection.
GRADE: A-: An influential blues figure – Jimmy Page was a fan for good reason.