Bobby was born in Rayford, N.C. and when he was learning to play, fashioned himself after B.B. King and Jimmy Reed. He toured with soul singer Chuck Jackson for a while until he settled in Philadelphia, where he plays today in one of many bars throughout the city which feature live entertainment. Since the first set consisted mainly of soul material except for the teasing last number, we asked him if he would play some blues, an idea which he happily obliged to. He opened the set with a version of "Stormy Monday" which would have made T- Bone sit up and take notice, with his big guitar screaming...punctuating Bobby's strident, ballsy vocal. The set continued like this for the best part of forty'five minutes and the normally passive audience was screaming for more, whereupon Bobby launched into a ten-minute version of B.B's "Don't Answer The Door",and ended the set completely exhausted, with an instrumental in which he stole a few tricks from Buddy Guy's book and played the guitar with his teeth, one handed, and wrapped round a curtain! Bobby Bennett, like many bluesmen, has had to adapt to changing tastes, but it is plain from the audience reaction that the blues still has a few fans in Philadelphia. Although Bobby doesn't usually include many blues in his sets he is always happy to play them when requested, and he always shows off his guitar playing virtuosity. Bobby reputation has even reached. Chicago, and. one man there who has seen the best Chicago got to offer, compared. him favorably to people like Otis Rush and Magic Sam, Bobby is doing okay financially but a little publicity might get him playing outside of Philadelphia and. maybe a record. company contract with a company that knows how to treat blues musicians.
Joe McEwen "Philadelphia Blues" in BU 92, June 1972
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