Track Of The Week #5 – Bobby Rush ‘Chicken Heads’

With the rush of Christmas barley passing, this week’s track will hopefully see you through to the new year. This selection derives from the work of Louisiana blues singer, Bobby Rush. Born as Emmet Ellis Jr back in 1963, Rush came from a musical and religious background. Rush always had a desire for creating music and when his family moved to Chicago he ended up collaborating with his local neighbour. A neighbour which turned out to be none other than Blues legend, Muddy Waters. Through Waters, Rush met fellow blues musician, Jimmy Reed. It was through the connection Rush had established with with Reed and Waters that kickstarted his musical career and really helped him to delve into blues. From here on, Rush created the base for his eclectic career, spanning through blues, funk, soul and many other genres.

chicken

‘Chicken Heads’ was Rush’s fifth 45-inch issue and although recorded in 1969, it was released in 1971 on Galaxy Records, a jazz and soul record label based in California. The song reached #34 in the charts and was without doubt, one of Rush’s most successful earlier releases. The song revolves around Rush’s obsession with women and how sometimes letting yourself go is simply all that you can do. The song went on to become Rush’s first ever gold-certified release and seemed irresistibly popular. Its combination of rhythmic guitar twangs, rolling bass lines and humorous, catchy lyrics made it into the hit it is still is today. ‘Chicken Heads’ in fact re-entered the Billboard music chart after it’s inclusion in the 2007 film ‘Black Snake Moan’, starring Samuel L. Jackson. The success of the single appeared to work wonders for Rush’s career and it wasn’t shortly after it’s issue that he released his debut album entitled ‘Rush Hour’ on Philadelphia Records. It was on this first album that Rush really expressed his ability to work on a multi-genre basis. Covering the styles of blues, funk and soul, Rush used ‘Rush Hour’ to showcase his musical diversity. So, as we approach the new year, the only period of the year where losing your head is obligatory, a song like this couldn’t be more appropriate. No better time to relax, soak up the calm and brace for the storm.

Listen & enjoy here –

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