When it comes to classic blues, the three Kings (Albert, Freddie and B.B) certainly have earned their status as royalty, along with Epiphone's own John Lee Hooker and others. But perhaps one of the most underrated bluesmen is Otis Rush.
Born in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1935, Rush is a self-taught musician who began playing guitar at the age of eight. Moving to Chicago in 1949, he was introduced to the more urban sounds of the blues, and his impact on the local scene was immediate. Otis Rush has been praised by the likes of Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Santana, Luther Allison, Jeff Beck, and others. And his influence continues today. In a recent interview with Premier Guitar magazine, modern-day phenom Gary Clark Jr. described Mr. Rush's performance of 'I Can't Quit You Baby' at the 1966 American Folk Blues Festival by simply stating, "That's so sick!"
Of course, you can take one look at the video and see why we consider Otis Rush an important part of the Epiphone historical family. The guitar Otis is playing in his unorthodox, "upside-down" fashion is an Epiphone Riviera. The Riviera was a semi-hollow archtop (with solid center block), similar to today's Sheraton-II, but with New York mini humbuckers and a Frequensator tailpiece. In recent years we've had a lot of requests to reissue the Riviera. All we can say is… You know I can't quit you baby, but I gotta put you down for a while. But maybe not for long?
Find out more about Otis Rush at www.otisrush.net