Full moons over the Horsemen’s Club
Rush must be lying about his age, because he looks damn good for a 68-year-old; most people that age are way past karate kicks. He changed outfits a few times, but he always looked sharp (which, if you saw the Richard Pearce-directed second episode of Martin Scorsese’s recent seven-part PBS series The Blues, you’ll recall.) Rush’s band—two guitarists; his son, who played bass; a drummer; and a keyboard player with an ear for cheesy synth sounds—provided a supple backing for Rush’s Johnny “Guitar” Watson-styled funk and soul vamps. But the dancers stole the show, with a vision straight out of one of Crumb’s zaftig-goddess epiphanies.
Imagine three fine ladies straight from a Jimmy Castor Bunch record who could’ve starred in a Sir Mix-a-Lot video, with their ample backsides to the crowd. We’re talking serious butt action here: One dancer, from Texas—“They grow ’em big down there,” Rush commented—treated the audience to an extended workout of her Brobdingnagian gluteus-maximus muscles, which rippled in time to the beat as she bent down low, giving the front row a rather swell view. “And it don’t just talk,” Rush jibed as he positioned a microphone right underneath. “It can sing.” And the band went “Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! Bomp!” as her rump quaked in perfect time.
Not everyone was amused. A few women, heading out the door, muttered that Rush’s show was “degrading to women.” From one point of view, it was. Nevertheless, as classic rhythm-and-blues burlesque, and as a celebration of massive callipygy—or, shall we say, bountiful boo-tay—Rush’s show was a resounding success. And the music was pretty good, too. The middle act, a Los Angeles-based club band called Café R&B, featured a stunning singer named Roach, who brought a young Tina Turner to mind. And young Canadian guitarist Anthony Gomes was a riveting opener.
Balma’s next blues show at the Horsemen’s Club won’t happen until mid-February, when he brings in an all-Texas lineup, including W.C. Clark, Smokin’ Joe Kubek with Bnois King, Kay Kay and the Rays, and Cricket Taylor.