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Bob Bests Bob's Best

Bob Cushing doesn’t get booked as much as he deserves here on the Eastside. I’ll never know why. Bob is a 2009 troubadour, a true 60’s generation artist. If Bob had been born 30 years earlier who knows, maybe he’d be selling $200 a head tickets at college halls like Bob Dylan and John Prine.
Fact is you don’t need a ticket to see Bob’s show (and I bet that suits him just fine). Bob’s not on CMT or MTV or VH1 or any other 3 letter acronym corporate commercial crap ass consolidated bunch of bullshit. Bob lives in the pubs. He might even die in one. I bet that would suit him just fine too.
Bottom line is we love Bob, and for damn good reason. I doubt any other Cincinnati solo artist has a soul such as Bob’s. Bob is a dreamer, a realist, a poet, a picker, a drinker, a smoker, a toker, a lover, an artist and a friend. Bob has a transparent soul. He is what he sings, he sings what he lives and he don’t give a damn if that ain’t your thing. Amen to that my friend! I wish we had 2000 more like ya, nevertheless we’re glad to have just the one.
One, is all we need though and if you only have one piece of Bob make it his latest CD release “Still Alive”. Bob has released other great CD’s in the past (Step Aside, Middle Aged Crazy) and we’ve worn out each and every one. We’ve spent many a night (and early mornings) secretly switching our party guests CD’s for Bob’s. Every time, we get “what the f#ck is this, this is like bar band music” Your damn right it is and that’s the way we like it.
The real reason for this article is that Bob has bested himself with his 20th anniversary release. It’s going along side my coveted collection of hard to find (or un-released) music CD’s (including some Sonny Moorman stuff Sonny says he don’t even have anymore). Hah!
“Still Alive” is a full blown 2 disc album. The quality and production is first rate. Some tracks are from previous releases but this time around they’re even better than the first time. There are 15 original tracks and covers of, Wrong, Lodi and Soulshine. I’m damn glad he covered Soulshine because it’s one of the best versions I’ve ever heard. I just love it, I played it 3 times in a row, then the Allman Brothers original and then Bob’s 2 more times. No kidding.
Bob’s talent shines on Soulshine but the real magic is in his originals (as always). Bob’s no stranger to the bottle and “Coming Down” and “Lost In A Fog” are autobiographical tales of true alcoholism and all the memories (for better or worse) that come with it. It’s a rock solid, dead honest reflection on the truths that most drinkers refuse to face. Bob tells it like it is, regardless of how painful it must be. “One Good Drunk” is a celebration of having lived through it and still finding familiar comfort in that same old vice. “Better Days” (Bob’s first ever original from 1989) is a self portrait of such brutally honest measure it brings tears to my eyes. The sweet mandolin (Chris Goins) makes it ever more emotional than ever.
Bob kicks it up and makes me smile like a preacher who just filled a bucket instead of a plate on tracks like “Smokers Blues” and “C’Mon Big Brother” an absolutely righteous tune that I think should be considered as the normal people’s national anthem.
He brings it all in focus with “Middle Aged Crazy” it’s Bob’s life’s story (even before he was middle aged he was crazy).
All Bob’s originals are autobiographical but perhaps “The Next Best Thing” consolidates them into a clear self portrait the best. You get to see first hand just what kind of hand life’s dealt Bob with “Somehow We Survived” it’s a real life equivalent to Bucky Covington’s “A Different World”, Bucky’s went to the top 40, Bob’s is just as good but it damn sure didn’t pay as well.
Bob is joined by his partner in crime Chris Goins on all of the tracks, Chris really brings harmony and polish to Bob’s one man sound. Together they created the perfect “Bob Cushing” CD. I think anyone who appreciates great honest song writing will value this release.
You can get your hands on one by going to Bob’s web site www.bobcushing.com but hopefully you’ll bother to get off your ass and go see the live show. That’s what Bob Cushing is all about. Besides, nothing can record Bob’s soul and when he’s on stage he’s more than happy to spill it out all over the floor for all to see.

 

 

 

 

 

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