Otis Rush Live - DVD

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Otis Rush Live - DVD

Postby blueswriter » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:16 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-16-05 AT 00:04 AM (EST)]Otis Rush
Live - Part One
Blues Express (2003) DVD

http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeVideoArt/29/211029.jpg

Color, approximately 60 minutes. Highly recommended. For anyone who has never had the pleasure of seeing Otis Rush, this recent Blues Express DVD is the next best thing. Recorded in December of 1999 at Broadway Studios in San Fransisco before an appreciative crowd, the left-handed guitar master is in potent form for a half-dozen cuts; the opening instrumental I Wonder Why, a riveting All Your Love (I Miss Loving), the storming ten-minute version of It's My Own Fault, a mid-set instrumental in 717, a crushing I Can't Quit You Baby, and the closer, I Got My Mojo Working, featuring Bobby Murray supporting on guitar. Even though in his mid-sixties at the time of the taping, Rush is brilliantly powerful backed by a four-piece horn section, Bob Levis' rhythm guitar, and a rhythm section of bass, drums, and keyboard. Rush proves that his voice has lost none of its edge while his guitar playing retains the forceful beauty and ringing quality so evident on many of his recordings. Although the performance isn't lengthy, it is listed as being the first volume, so we can hope there will be more to come soon. Bonus features include an interview portion with the artist talking about his influences, his early years with the Cobra label, working with Willie Dixon, and other discussions giving the viewer a better understanding of a lengthy career peppered with shoddy deals, shelved-for-years recordings, and chances that might have been. Another 'feature' comes in the picture gallery showing Otis flanked by high-profile rockers; Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Bill Wyman, Led Zeppelin, and others, but there's a disturbing and recurring theme as Rush talks about these people. While each one seems to have offered help by wanting to record the West Side icon, there's a distinct sadness as Rush recounts their offers and willingness to step up, although he has yet to see anything come to fruition. While Otis Rush does have a fairly extensive recording history, it's truly unfortunate that bad luck and sour deals have followed him. One can only hope that he'll see some money-where-the-mouth-is action before it's too late. All in all, the Blues Express DVD of Otis Rush - Live is a highly worthwhile addition to shelves already starting to bulge from the many fine releases in the recent past. Extensive liner notes from Dick Shurman are finely crafted and informative, and there are other interesting DVD performances available now, with more due in the not-too-distant future.

http://bluesexpress.com/records/br_rushdis.html

© 2004 by Craig Ruskey
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RE: Otis Rush Live - DVD

Postby bosco » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:04 pm

I always wondered why Otis never became a bigger star and this review helps explain it. His performances in the AFBF DVDs are stunning, yet he never achieved the name recognition of say, a Buddy Guy. A great loss for sure, because while Otis appears to have remained true to his roots, most everyone prefers the way Buddy USED to play.

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RE: Otis Rush Live - DVD

Postby blueswriter » Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:01 pm

Otis has been on the back end of too many poor deals and they left him with a sometimes sad outlook on himself and his abilities, and a poor view of the recording business. Records that were put on a shelf until rescued years later and finally issued, poor management, and other personal issues have all taken their toll. But, in light of all that, his willingness to continue to "try again" always steps up. We're fortunate that he's still what he was while the Buddy Guys and Guitar Shortys change to impress a younger crowd.
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