MISSISSIPPI SOUL/BLUES LEGEND BOBBY RUSH READY FOR HIS CLOSEUP: LIVE AT GROUND ZERO DVD TO BE RELEASED ON HEELS OF APPEARANCE ON PBS’s MARTIN SCORSESE “THE BLUES” FILM SERIES

(PRWEB) July 31, 2003

JACKSON, MS July 30, 2003 — For decades, Bobby Rush’s provocative and colorful Chitlin’ Circuit show has been a staple in the black community as well as a cult sensation in alternative circles. The cult will grow overnight in September when Rush is the subject of a documentary titled “The Road To Memphis,” Richard Pearce’s film in the PBS series Martin Scorsese’s “The Blues.”

And if audiences like what they see on PBS, they will be able to purchase Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero (Deep Rush Visuals), a DVD and bonus CD soundtrack to be released on September 23 with a list price of $ 19.98. The DVD / CD set kicks off Rush’s own Deep Rush label based in Jackson, Miss., and will be distributed by RED Distribution through Emergent Music Marketing.

“I’m as excited as I’ve ever been in my entire life, and in 50 years of performing,” says Rush. “It was total chance that Martin Scorsese and Richard Pearce found out about me and took an interest. And I thank the Lord for that! And add the fact that I’m about to release my first live album and DVD. It’s like Bobby Rush is 20 years old again!”

Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero was shot on a sultry July night at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero juke joint in the blues mecca of Clarksdale, Miss. It serves as a window for the world to see what many have heard about but have not experienced unless they’ve caught Rush’s show — a true Chitlin’ Circuit revue featuring Rush’s dynamic blend of Southern soul and Mississippi blues. It is a show that has won Rush the honors of “Best Live Performer” by both the critics and the readers of Living Blues magazine in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. He will adorn the magazine’s cover in the November/December issue.

The producers of PBS’ “The Blues” know a compelling performer when they see one and invited Rush to represent the series, performing for the press as part of the recent Television Critics Association confab in Los Angeles.

Born Emmit Ellis, Jr., in Homer, La., Rush gained renown in Chicago starting in the ‘50s and ‘60s where he performed or recorded with artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Willie Dixon, Little Milton and Earl Hooker. In 1969, he recorded the hit “Chicken Heads,” which was one of the last real blues songs to find a home on R&B radio. The song, whose subject matter was slightly outside the mainstream, immediately crowned him the king of the Chitlin Circuit. It’s a scene populated by older, mainly Southern black audiences who gather to hear their music at social clubs — a very different scenario from the comparably pristine world of blues festivals.

After recording for labels like Checker, Galaxy, Ronn, Philadelphia International, ABC and LaJam, Rush recorded a series of albums for Malaco Records in the ‘90s. During this period he was slowly “discovered” by white blues fans in search of something more authentically Southern and intense than the merrily rollicking music that had become the blues’ mainstream. Rush, with his full-on soul band and sexy dancers, was literally in a class by himself. Word continued to percolate among the cognoscenti. And now the Bobby Rush legacy will come of fruition with Pearce’s film documentary, slated to air on PBS stations on Tuesday, September 30. (An advance clip may be viewed at http://www.pbs.org/theblues/thefilmseries.html# )

In addition to preparing for the release of Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero, Rush is busy promoting Undercover Lover, a just-released audio CD on his Deep Rush label that continues the musical tradition he started over the past decade.

Bobby Rush: Live At Ground Zero also marks the comeback of Rush in the wake of a near-fatal tour bus accident that occurred in April, 2001 outside of Tallahassee, Fla., in which Rush sustained critical injuries. Rush’s bus driver had suffered a sudden heart attack and drove off the road. The bus rolled four or five times. Rush was pinned to the collapsed ceiling and was extracted with the jaws of life. A dancer in his entourage was killed. “I could have ended up paralyzed or dead,” says Rush. “There’s no reason I should have gone on living unless God had a reason. And that’s what’s inspired me to go forward.”

And as the world will soon discover, that’s a very good thing.

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For more information on Bobby Rush, please contact The Baker/Northrop Media Group:

Cary Baker

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