Bobby Rush at The Birk on July 16, 2015

When the 81-years-young King of the Chitlin' Circuit took the stage at The Birk on Thursday, July 16, he brought with him 60-plus years of musical heritage, a deep-rooted appreciation of where he is from and where he is today, and his unique talents and pure showmanship. Bobby Rush shined on this night. Taking the standing-room crowd on a journey through time, from his birthplace in Homer, La., through Chicago to the Chitlin’ Circuit and beyond, Rush is the blues and this show was timeless, featuring his masterful harp playing and a set list filled with classic songs.

But it wasn’t just the music that kept fans wanting more: The sheer intimacy of the venue and Rush's smoking swagger mixed with his coolness—all of it combined to make the whole thing all the more genuine. The lucky fans that shared this intimate event along with those who were perhaps hearing his music for the first time reveled in the experience, showing the kind of joy that only surfaces upon hearing Bobby Rush. Needless to say, many are already keeping their eyes open for the next time this party will be in town.

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