A career that spans decades might mean a time to reap the rewards and relax for some artists. Bobby Rush has never been a man to simply sit back as he uses a 2016 timestamp to build onto his sixty-plus years of a career with a new album, Porcupine Meat, his debut on Rounder Records. Born in Louisiana, Bobby Rush built his first guitar and learned to play the harmonica. When he got a real guitar, he started playing juke joints wearing a fake moustache to fool club owners into believing he was old enough to get in. Bobby relocated to Chicago in the 1950’s to further his career, working with Luther Allison and Freddie King, and sitting in with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Little Walter. Bobby was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006 and became the first Blues artist to play at the Great Wall of China in 2007. Produced by Scott Billington, Porcupine Meat was recorded in New Orleans, and welcomes special guests Dave Alvin, Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, and Vasti Jackson in for the album.
Bobby Rush uses the title track to describe a situation where love is like ‘porcupine meat, too fat to eat, too lean to throw away’. Second guessing missteps and mistakes is the main source of entertainment as Bobby Rush spends time home alone on “Me, Myself, and I” while he struts in a mighty bass bump, daring love to cross a line with “It’s Your Move”, promises a more fertile field for hearts in “Nighttime Gardner”, walks with confidence over the wiggles and weaves through “Snake in the Grass”, and claims “I’m Tired” as the rhythm slowly unwinds under a harmonica duet. Porcupine Meat is the sound of an eighty-two-year old man setting the standard for Blues and Soul while handing out wisdom on longevity (“Funk O’ de Funk”), fashion (“Your Dress is Too Short”), personal boundaries (“I Don’t Want Nobody Hanging Around”), and trusting instinct (“Standing on Shaky Ground”).