Otis Rush & Friends
Mississippi-born Otis Rush’s first hit, Willie Dixon’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” which Led Zeppelin used as a blueprint for their 1969 version, made the R’n’B Top 10 in 1956. Long known as the architect of Chicago’s West Side guitar style, this southpaw innovator puts a bee sting into his blues, energizing it with a jumpback style that rocks the house. He gave fellow legend Buddy Guy his start. He learned from the masters at Chess Records—Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf—as a sideman, before becoming one of their top-selling artists. He’s been shaking the soul out of the blues with stunning whammy-bar action, vibrato effects and tremolo drama for half a century!
There’s no one quite like Otis Rush. Eric Clapton was instrumental in bringing Rush to Montreux in 1986. Eagle’s Live at Montreux series has previously featured such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Charles Mingus, Bonnie Raitt and a host of others. These 12 sweaty intense barn-burning blues busters are a perfect example of why this genre will never die. Rush coaxes, cajoles and sweet-talks those notes out of his beloved guitar. His singing is pure church...only with a lecherous edge, because you know what he’s talkin’ ‘bout! The blues of this man will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Yet when he’s joined onstage by Eric Clapton, “Slowhand” makes the entire chemistry of the band start to boil and bubble over. Three songs later, Clapton’s rockin’—hard—and out comes another Chicago legend, Luther Allison. When Allison, Rush and Clapton all go upper-string wild simultaneously, all hell breaks loose and the crowd goes certifiably nuts. To see these three men, joyously young and in their 1986 prime, working out so strenuously, is to know the magic of the blues.