Bobby Rush, a Blues Hall of Fame member, Grammy Award winner and legendary live performer, will present a solo blues concert at the historic MSU Riley Center.
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Kiss 104.1 FM is sponsor.
Rush, a singer, harmonica player and guitarist, began playing in juke joints in 1951, when he was just a teenager. His first hit record, “Sock Boo Ga Loo,” came in 1967, and he first hit the national charts with “Chicken Heads” in 1971.
Rush is still writing songs and still putting out records. He released his latest album, “Rawer than Raw” in August.
“I’m happy about what I’m doing and still enthused about what I’m doing,” he says. “And I think we’ve got some good songs.”
Awards voters agree.
Rush’s 2016 album “Porcupine Meat” won a Grammy as Best Traditional Blues Album and a Blues Music Award as Album of the Year. He has won 12 other Blues Music Awards and has received four other Grammy nominations, most recently for his 2019 album “Sitting on Top of the Blues.” Also in 2019, he made a cameo appearance in the film “Dolemite Is My Name,” which starred Eddie Murphy as 1970s and 1980s Black filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore.
Rush grew up in Arkansas and came to fame in Chicago when that was the center of the blues universe in the 1950s. For years now he has lived in Jackson,, where a Mississippi Blues Trail marker is dedicated to him. He was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2012.
Rush has taken many musical roads over the decades, but he always comes back to the blues.
“That’s all I know,” he says. “Even if I do something different, I’m going to put enough blues in it so you’ll know that I’m still this blues singer that’s giving you what I know about it. Anything I do or say is going to be about the blues.”
Because of COVID-19 safety protocols, concertgoers will be required to wear masks, and seating will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. The Riley Center recommends that patrons arrive earlier than usual. A thermal image camera will scan each guest. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will receive a refund and not be allowed to attend.
Tickets are $17-$70. They can be purchased online at www.msurileycenter.com or by calling 601-696-2200. The MSU Riley Center Box Office at 2200 Fifth St. is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before showtime.