Double Trouble (Otis Rush song)

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"Double Trouble"
Double Trouble single cover.jpg
Single by Otis Rush
B-side "Keep On Loving Me Baby"
Released 1958 (1958)
Format 7-inch 45 rpm & 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded 1958
Studio Cobra, Chicago
Genre Blues
Length 2:42
Label Cobra (no. 5030)
Songwriter(s) Otis Rush
Producer(s) Willie Dixon
Otis Rush singles chronology
"It Takes Time"
"Double Trouble"
"All Your Love (I Miss Loving)"

"It Takes Time"
"Double Trouble"
"All Your Love (I Miss Loving)"

"Double Trouble" is a blues song written and recorded by Chicago blues guitarist Otis Rush .[1] Since its release as a single in 1958, the song has been recorded by several blues and other artists, including several versions by Eric Clapton. Stevie Ray Vaughan named his band "Double Trouble" after Rush's song.[2] In 2008, Rush's original version was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, who called it a "minor-key masterpiece".[2]

Original song[edit]

"Double Trouble" is a slow tempo twelve-bar blues notated in 4
time in the key of D minor.[3] "The song's underlying air of quiet desperation stretched to the breaking point is enhanced by brilliant use of dynamics and some truly mind-boggling, strangled guitar fills near the end."[4] According to Otis Rush, the song's title was inspired by a comment by a woman upon viewing her hand during a card game "trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, double troubles".[5]

You laughed at me walkin' baby, when I had no place to go
Bad luck and trouble have taken me, I have got no money to show
Hey, hey, to make it you got to try, baby that's no lie

The song was produced by Willie Dixon[6] and features Rush on guitar and vocal, Dixon on bass, Ike Turner on second guitar, Little Brother Montgomery on piano, Harold Ashby and Jackie Brenston on saxophones, and Billy Gayles on drums. Although Rush plays the lead guitar introduction to the song, Turner plays the signature vibrato guitar parts.[4] In 1986, Rush recorded a live version of the song for Blues Interaction – Live in Japan 1986, which was released in 1989.

Recordings by other artists[edit]

Musical artists who have recorded "Double Trouble" include the Paul Butterfield Blues Band from The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (1967) and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green from Looking Back (1969) and the expanded A Hard Road (2003). Studio and live versions by Eric Clapton appear on No Reason to Cry (1976), Just One Night (1980), Crossroads (1988), Crossroads 2: Live in the Seventies (1996), Blues (1999), and Live from Madison Square Garden (2009).


  1. ^ Big Bill Broonzy recorded a different "Double Trouble" in 1941 (OKeh 06427), cowritten by Harriet Melka, and covered by various artists.
  2. ^ a b Blues Foundation (November 10, 2016). "2008 Hall of Fame Inductees: Double Trouble — Otis Rush (Cobra, 1958)". The Blues Foundation. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  3. ^ Hal Leonard (1995). "Double Trouble". The Blues. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0-79355-259-1. 
  4. ^ a b Rush, Otis (1993). The Cobra Records Story: Chicago Rock and Blues 1956–1958 (Album notes). Various artists. Capricorn Records. p. 10. 9-42012-2. 
  5. ^ Obrecht, Jas (2000). Rollin' and Tumblin': The Postwar Blues Guitarists. Backbeat Books. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-87930-613-7. 
  6. ^ In his autobiography, Dixon suggests that he introduced Rush to minor-key blues.Dixon, Willie; Snowden, Don (1989). I Am the Blues. Da Capo Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-306-80415-8.