When: Fri., April 13, 9 p.m. 2012
As he approaches his 80th birthday, soul-blues veteran Bobby Rush continues to carry on on with such vigor, flair, and imagination that he puts many artists half a century younger to shame. Trim and athletic, he fills his live act with spins, leaps, and other outrageous physical business. As scantily clad dancing girls gyrate on either side of him, he stalks the stage with his face contorted into a lecherous leer, leading the crowd on a wild romp through quasi-mythical tales of improbable romantic and sexual misadventures—men and women alike seem bent on little more than getting what they can behind each other's backs before the inevitable payback cuts them down to size ("Your love is like a wet match / You can't light no fire with that"). On his latest CD, last year's Show You a Good Time (Deep Rush), the master of what he's christened "funk-folk" proves his songwriting skills to be as deft as ever—Rush's parade of hapless cuckolds, conniving cheaters, and grizzled blues savants holds forth with characteristic irrepressible energy, their stories propelled as usual by crisply produced, driving funk. This show is a birthday party and benefit for the ailing Artie "Blues Boy" White. —David Whiteis See also Sunday. Mr. Lee & Company open.