Dynamite Double Header! ROXY ROCA and Bobby Rush get together to blow the roof off The Continental Club in Austin, TX for two nights only: Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8. Each night starts off with a set of powerhouse southern soul by ROXY ROCA at 10pm, followed by a blistering set of funkified blues by Bobby Rush featuring ROXY ROCA as the backing band at midnight. $20 cover, 21+ only. Get there early — both nights will sell out! Spread the word: RSVP on Facebook and Click ‘Add to My512’ on do512. As usual, get all the most up-to-date show info here: SHOWS.
Where it all started…
Some matches are made in heaven, or so the saying goes. This one was made somewhere a little closer to earth: a dish pit in Tuscaloosa, AL. We’ll let ROXY ROCA singer Taye Cannon explain:
“My first encounter with Bobby Rush’s music was when I was working with a man named Joe in Tuscaloosa, AL. There was definitely something unique about Joe. He worked as a dish washer at this restaurant where I was a cook, but he always dressed like he was stepping out on the town or going to church. Joe always had a smile on his face and was dropping lines like, ‘Ain’t nuthin’ wrong wid it,’ , ‘It gone be a’ight,’ or, ‘It’s a good day to be Joe!’ After a while I realized that his attitude was directly affected by the music that he listened to: BB King, Buddy Guy, Marvin Sease, and most of all, Mr. Bobby Rush. Joe proudly proclaimed to us all that washing dishes was his ‘Par-tey Money’ and that he dressed slick because after work he was going downtown to play with the ‘Hoochie Mamas.’ He would always say, ‘Listen to Bobby Rush and you’ll understand how I live.’
“Bobby Rush is not your standard blues artist, although he is cut from the same cloth as some of America’s blues legends. He got his start by sneaking into clubs with a fake mustache as a teen and playing with the likes of Little Richard and BB King. Rush’s music has a sense of humor to it and is heavily influenced by funk and good-time party music.”
“Let’s just say those years of my early twenties getting life lessons from Old Joe and Bobby Rush left a lasting impression on me. They drove home the same kind of blind optimism that I have always tried to instill in myself.”
Fast-forward a decade or so as Taye and his band-mates in self-described “Dynamite Texas Soul” outfit ROXY ROCA have been blazing a trail across the country continuing the tradition of feel-good grooves Taye learned back in that dish pit in Alabama to a crossing of paths that was as surprising as it was inevitable.
Taye continued, “Earlier this year we were in Jackson, MS playing a festival with Trombone Shorty, Dumpstafunk, and Brownout (an epic experience all on its own, I might add). I was in the bus taking a much needed power nap before Trombone Shorty went on when Sleepy (ROXY ROCA alto saxophonist Royce Phillips Jr.) began banging on the door with a sense of urgency. ‘TAYE!! TAYE! Wake up! wake up! Bobby Rush is here!'”
“I sprang from my bunk, grabbed my suit jacket, and flew out the door. When I got inside, Hal & Mal’s was at a fever pitch and Trombone Shorty was just kicking off his set. I headed backstage to look for Bobby when I saw a gentleman in a lavender suit standing by the side of the stage. You could have knocked me over with a feather.”
“When you meet Bobby he is just like his music. His enthusiasm for life is evident in his handshake and smile. I told him the story about how I was introduced to his music, and within minutes we were laughing and carrying on. One thing led to another and next thing I knew we were discussing playing a show together in Austin.”
“Bobby said it had been many years since he performed in Texas, and we decided right away that the place for this show was the legendary Continental Club . After swapping some stories with the band we exchanged numbers and left it at a solid, ‘Let’s do this.'”
The rest, or so the saying goes, is history.