Bobby Rush Benefit for Center for Southern Folklore

PR Release for this one-of-a-kind event:

One of the true stars of the past two Memphis Music & Heritage Festivals, Bobby Rush, performs a rare solo acoustic benefit concert for the Center for Southern Folklore, Friday night, January 9, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Admission for this special fundraiser is $75.00 and includes food and beverages with the proceeds going toward the Center for Southern Folklore’s archival projects. It all takes place in the intimate confines of the Center’s Folklore Hall, 119 S. Main Street @ the Peabody Place Trolley Stop in the heart of downtown Memphis.

Bobby’s concert will feature two generous sets of music with a question and answer segment conducted by Center Director Judy Peiser. Audience participation in the Q and A session is not only allowed but strongly encouraged

Though best known for his bawdy and bootylicious R&B stage shows, Bobby’s blues roots go back to his days as a young man growing up in the north Louisiana town of Homer. He built his first instrument, a primitive guitar or “diddley bow,” and by his early teens he was donning a fake mustache and appearing at Deep South juke joints. In the mid-’50s he moved to Chicago, where his bands included Freddie King, Earl Hooker, and Luther Allison, and on jaunts back to his family home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he performed with artists including Elmore James.

As Rush began to develop his own individual sound, he opted to forgo the blues market in favor of targeting the chitlin circuit, which offered a more receptive audience for his increasingly bodacious stage shows. However, the blues he learned as a young man stayed with him and last year he returned to his blues roots with the album “Raw” where he stripped his sound down to the basics, performing only with his guitar and harmonica. For his efforts, Bobby took home the Blues Music Award for Best Male Soul Blues Artist as well as Best Acoustic Artist and Best Acoustic Album, a testament to his versatility that also highlights how his more contemporary records draw upon the same deep blues vein.

Despite the success and notoriety he’s achieved, Bobby Rush never forgot where he came from and the importance of giving back to his community. His generosity in performing benefit concerts for causes he believes in is legendary. After participating twice in the Center’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, Mr. Rush said, “I want to support an organization that unites Memphis’ culture, music, history and arts the way the Center for Southern Folklore does. The Festival is a show that everyone should attend to see how Memphis’s diverse communities come together to learn about each other and enjoy their city together.”

Please join Bobby Rush on Friday, January 9 and help the Center for Southern Folklore maintain its vital role in chronicling the life and times of the Memphis/Mississippi Delta region.



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To learn more about the Center, go to www.southernfolklore.com.

From the Center for Southern Folklore’s website you can: Learn about weekly performances, Book our spaces for tours or events, Purchase archival images and folk art in our store, and Become an annual supporter.

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.