Music

Blues Legend Bobby Rush Reinvigorates the Classic "Dust My Broom" (premiere)

Photo: Kim Welsh / Courtesy of Conqueroo

Still going strong at 86, blues legend Bobby Rush presents "Dust My Broom" from an upcoming salute to Mississippi blues history, Rawer Than Raw, rendered in his inimitable style.

Bobby Rush once more demonstrates his astonishing blues prowess on the upcoming album, Rawer Than Raw, due out on 28 August via Deep Rush/Thirty Tigers. More than that, one has a sense that, at 86, Rush may just be getting started.

"Dust My Broom", the latest track from the stripped-down LP, finds the bluesman delivering a spirited performance that captures the in-the-moment ethos of the blues, in particular the brand that emanates from the cradle of the music itself, Mississippi. Though Rush sings that he believes his time ain't long, it's impossible to believe that either he or the music he plays with such passion will be leaving us any time soon.

"Although Robert Johnson wrote the song, I didn't learn about who wrote it until long after I heard it, but I knew that it related to me," says Rush. "I heard it first through Elmore James and always liked how he performed the song. I always did like that kind of song.

Recorded and written by Robert Johnson, "Dust My Broom" has been recorded countless times, with ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Muddy Waters, and Taj Mahal, all lending their more-than-capable voices to the cause of keeping the tune alive. Generations have come to know it well. Ultimately inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, "Dust My Broom" carries with it a timeless theme, the sense that one has got to pack up and carry on, looking for whatever lies beyond the boundaries of their particular home or hometown.

"It was talking about regardless of how I feel today, I'm going to get up in the morning, and I'm going to leave," explains Rush. "'Dust My Broom' means I'm going to leave you, I'm leaving this town. It don't mean the broom you sweep the floor with. It means I'm tired of the situation I'm in. The thing that's going on with the police today and COVID going around, I feel like I want to get up every day and dust my broom, but there's nowhere for me to go. Ain't nothing happening with the broom I have or life right now and making money. I'm gonna dust my broom. 'I'm gonna get up in the morning, and I believe I'll dust my broom. I'm going to write a letter and telephone every town I know.' That meant every place he'd been, he ain't going back no more."


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