Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Bobby Rush and his Exotic Shake Dancers 

Friday, July 29, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Just as rare as wizened blues masters these days are the old-school R&B performers who worked the chitlin' circuit and its northern inner-city equivalents. We're talking about folks like Clarence Carter, Denise LaSalle, and Millie Jackson -- classic R&B and soul performers who knew how to entertain and titillate. Their songs frequently developed into routines -- mostly concerning sex, love, or the lack thereof -- which often provoked some heavy-duty call-and-response action from the crowd.

One can place singer-harmonica player Bobby Rush in both dwindling camps. Winner of numerous awards for blues and R&B, the Louisiana-born Rush can deliver backwater blues or vintage soul. And he serves it all up with the proper measure of bawdiness for the cabaret crowd, as evidenced by his 2003 release Live From Ground Zero. Rush plays it much straighter, blueswise, on 2004's Folk Funk, which revisits the classic '60s swamp-boogie sound of the Excello label and artists such as Slim Harpo. Oh yeah, and then there are Rush's Exotic Shake Dancers, just in case his lyrics aren't suggestive enough.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Duane Verh

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation