Chicago guitar legend Otis Rush dies at age 84

 

(September 30, 2018) Masaki Rush, wife of the legendary Otis Rush, one of the most influential Chicago blues artists of all time, announced that Mr. Rush has passed away due to complications from a stroke which he initially suffered in 2003.

 

(September 30, 2018) Masaki Rush, wife of the legendary Otis Rush, one of the most influential Chicago blues artists of all time, announced that Mr. Rush has passed away due to complications from a stroke which he initially suffered in 2003.

The Mississippi-born Rush moved to Chicago as a teenager, and became one of the Windy City's most noted musicians. 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 #6 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. He also became an influence on a generation of guitarists, ranging from Eric Clapton to Peter Green.

The Recording Academy, which had previously honored Rush with a Grammy Award, issued the following statement, "Otis Rush was one of the most influential guitarists of the Chicago blues scene, best known for crafting the city's "West Side Sound." With his passionate vocals, unique performance style, and jazz-influenced guitar playing, Rush set the standard for blues musicians in Chicago and beyond. He earned four GRAMMY nominations throughout his expansive career, and was awarded the Best Traditional Blues Album GRAMMY for Any Place I'm Going at the 41st Annual GRAMMY Awards®. He will forever be remembered for transforming traditional blues into a more intensified sound, and influencing many of the rock and blues greats that followed him."

The family requests privacy at this difficult time and will announce more details at a future date. Cards and condolences may be sent to the Rush family to: Rush Family, c/o Bates Meyer, Inc., PO Box 2821, Big Bear Lake, California USA 92315

Picture courtesy of Svein M Agnalt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

 
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