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Otis Rush: Any Place I’m Going

Another blues survivor from Chicago’s West Side, Otis Rush deals with typical intensity on Any Place I’m Going (House Of Blues 51416 1343 2; 56:45). Opening with outright homage to fellow lefty ax slinger Albert King on “You Fired Yourself,” Otis unleashes his signature vibrato-streaked blues licks on “Keep On Lovin’ Me Baby,” a remake of his 1958 hit for the Cobra label, and on a magnificent recreation of his own slow blues classic, “Looking Back.” His voice soars majestically on the slow blues “Part Time Love” and he delivers pure, sanctified soul (sans guitar) on a knee-buckling rendition of Sam Cooke’s gospel-soaked “Laughin’ And Clownin’.” Otis tips his hat once again to Albert King on the minor key “I Got The Blues” and he frolicks unabashedly on Lloyd Price’s N’awlins-flavored rhumba-boogie, “Have You Ever Had the Blues.” He turns in a house rocking rendition of Al Green’s shuffle, “Pride and Joy,” and sings sweetly over the lilting reggae bounce of the title track. Produced in Memphis by the legendary Willie Mitchell (the man behind the classic 1970s recordings by Al Green, Ann Peebles and Syl Johnson), Any Place I’m Going has a warm, no-frills, downhome feel to it. A timeless gem by an authentic blues giant and a brilliant followup to 1994’s acclaimed Ain’t Enough Comin’ In.

Originally Published