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Sun Sep 30, 2018, 01:36 PM

Otis Rush, Seminal Chicago Blues Guitarist, Dead at 84 [View all]

Source: Rolling Stone

Otis Rush, one of the pioneering guitarists of the Chicago blues scene, died Saturday from complications from a stroke he suffered in 2003. He was 84.

Rush’s wife, Masaki Rush, confirmed her husband’s death on his website. A note read, “Known as a key architect of the Chicago ‘West Side Sound’ Rush exemplified the modernized minor key urban blues style with his slashing, amplified jazz-influenced guitar playing, high-strained passionate vocals and backing by a full horn section. Rush’s first recording in 1956 on Cobra Records ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ reached Number on the Billboard R&B Charts and catapulted him to international acclaim. He went on to record a catalog of music that contains many songs that are now considered blues classics.”

Rush became a staple of the Chicago scene in the late Fifties and early Sixties, partnering first with Cobra Records, which was also home to artists like Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. Their take on the blues would prove to be a revelation for a generation of artists to follow, while Rush would become a totem for countless rock guitarists (he was placed at Number 53 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists). Notably, Rush’s signature style – long, dramatically bent notes – was in part a product of his unique playing approach: A left-handed guitarist who played his guitar upside-down, placing the low E string at the bottom and the high E string on top.

In 1968, Mike Bloomfield summed up Rush’s influence, telling Rolling Stone that in Chicago, “the rules had been laid down” for young, white blues bands: “You had to be as good as Otis Rush.”

Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/otis-rush-chicago-blues-guitarist-dead-731136/

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Reply Otis Rush, Seminal Chicago Blues Guitarist, Dead at 84 [View all]
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