[Cover photo credit to Arnie Goodman]
In 1971, Bobby Rush released the single “Chicken Heads” on Galaxy Records which made its way up the Billboard R&B chart, marking his first career hit. On Record Store Day/Black Friday of 2021, Rush celebrated the song’s 50th anniversary with new duet versions featuring three Blues giants: Buddy Guy, Gov’t Mule, and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. A limited-edition 12″vinyl was released and now the single has been recently released digitally, to be followed by the full EP digital release on Friday, February 18th.
Over the years, “Chicken Heads” has been a staple of Rush’s live performance and the song has been utilized in film and television, leading to its second emergence on a Billboard chart as part of the soundtrack for Black Snake Moan, the 2006 release starring Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Timberlake. It also appeared in HBO’s Ballers (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), The Deuces, and several other shows.
In 2021-22 Rush and his compilation co-producer (and longtime manager) Jeff DeLia embarked on a project that would honor the legacy of his breakthrough composition/recording. They sought to create four new versions of the song from the artist himself and a group of his high-profile friends.
The result was “Chicken Heads” reimagined in the unique styles of multi-Grammy winner Buddy Guy, jam band Gov’t Mule, and rising Blues artist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, with Rush featured on each track, plus Rush’s own new take made in Mississippi. The recordings were laid down in various studios across the U.S.