Otis Rush - Honoring Black History
Otis Rush Jr. (1934 –2018) was an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. His distinctive guitar style featured a slow-burning sound and long bent notes. With qualities similar to the styles of other 1950s artists Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, his sound became known as West Side Chicago blues and was an influence on many musicians, including Michael Bloomfield, Peter Green and Eric Clapton.
Rush was left-handed and played as such; however, his guitars were strung with the low E string at the bottom, upside-down from typical guitarists. He often played with the little finger of his pick hand curled under the low E for positioning. It is widely believed that this contributed to his distinctive sound. He had a wide-ranging, powerful tenor voice.
Rush was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Rush number 53 on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list, and The Jazz Foundation of America honored Rush with a Lifetime Achievement Award on April 20, 2018 "for a lifetime of genius and leaving an indelible mark in the world of blues and the universal language of music.”