Bluesman Bobby Rush Wins His First Grammy at 83

[photo: Rick Olivier]
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Longtime bluesman Bobby Rush won his first Grammy earlier this month at age 83. His latest work- Porcupine Meat- took the prize for Best Traditional Blues Album. 

It was a long time coming for Rush, as this was his fourth Grammy nomination but his first Grammy win.

"When you win anything at 83 you're happy, but I'm definitely happy because this is a Grammy and I've been up for it so many times.  But then again I accept it because the guys that I'm up against are so great, better than I [am] and they deserve a trophy also.  I take it in honor of all those I beat out," said Rush.

Born in Homer, Louisiana, in 1933, Rush is the son of a preacher who'd sing blues songs to his son at a young age.

"He influenced me so much because he never told me to sing the blues, but he never told me not to," said Rush.

Rush also explains the lyrics for the Grammy-winning album's title track.

"Porcupine meat is too fat to eat, too lean to throw away.  In other words porcupine is all fat meat.  It looks pretty but you dare not to touch it.  I put that up as a symbol for being in love with someone that don't love you but love what you do for them."

Rush is in town for a screening Thursday of the blues documentary - Take Me To The River - at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the Rock Hall's Black History Month celebrations. 

To listen to Dan Polletta's interview with Bobby Rush tune in to 90.3 FM Wednesday, February 22 at 12:33pm and 1:40pm during Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause.

*Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misattributed a quote to Mark Twain, which has been removed. 

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