Bobby Rush got dirty on 2013's Down in Louisiana
but with 2014's Decisions
, he returns to his slick blues-funk ways, but this doesn't mean it's a rote affair by any means. He has teamed up with the band Blinddog Smokin'
and, for the first time in his career, recorded with fellow Louisiana legend Dr. John. Mac Rebennack
shows up on the opening "Another Murder in New Orleans," a deeply soulful and searching portrait of the violence that often plagues the Big Easy but, really, that's the only instance when good times aren't on Rush's mind. He leers about being a "Funky Old Man" and winks about what happens on "Bobby Rush's Bus," two songs that set the pace and attitude for much of the rest of Decisions
. At times, the guitarist looks into the future -- there's a near-electronic funk beat underpinning "Dr. Rush" -- and other times the past ("Skinny Little Women" is a dexterous Louisiana groove and, elsewhere, he picks up an acoustic for some backporch grit), but this is really about Rush being in the present and enjoying his status as a very big fish in a big swamp. He's happy to recall his better, grittier moments, doesn't mind changing things up as long as it brings in more punters and, generally, is just having a good time and encouraging you to do so, too.