The history of pop (and by ‘pop’ I mean popular, not top 40 pap) is overflowing with underrated artists, to the point the term has become overused and largely lost its meaning. However, in rare instances, there are those whose talents are impossible to overstate. The phenomenal Shuggie Otis is one such artist.
The son of legendary R&B performer and bandleader, Johnny Otis, it would almost be unnatural for Shuggie not to possess some innate talent. Fortunately, his father recognized his nascent gifts and installed his son in his band when he was a mere 12 years old. To hide his age while playing nightclubs, Shuggie would wear dark glasses and a false moustache. As well as being steeped in the musical traditions of jazz, blues, and R&B via his father’s band and musical compatriots, Shuggie (like all kids his age) was taken by the music of his generation.
Read more at Aquarium Drunkard.
Shuggie Otis is scheduled to play at the 24th annual Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia’s premiere blues and roots music festival. You can see the full lineup and buy tickets to the festival on the Bluesfest website.
Before Prince was Prince, there was Shuggie Otis. The son of legendary bandleader Johnny Otis was a musical prodigy — a gifted multi-instrumentalist who was playing in his father’s big band by the age of 13. Otis’ 1971 album Freedom Flight and his 1974 follow-up, Inspiration Information, a chill collection of songs influenced by blues, prog and psychedelia that was so far ahead of its time its commercial failure made Otis’ decision to drop out of the music business for over a decade easier. A few years later The Brothers Johnson had a hit with the Otis-penned “Strawberry Letter 23” from Freedom Flight, but record labels didn’t want to sign the author of a platinum-selling single.
He doesn’t tour often, but when he does, Otis is worth checking out. This is cause to give you plenty of advance notice of his April 17, 2013 show at Lincoln Hall.
Read more at Chicagoist.
Cult R&B artist Shuggie Otis is prepping a new version of his essential 1974 album Inspiration Information that will include four previously-unreleased bonus tracks. More excitingly, the album will be coupled with another record, Wings of Love, which features 14 tracks recorded between 1975 and 2000 including songs from Inspiration Information’s follow-up which never saw the light of day. Look for that in April, 2013 on Epic/Legacy Recordings.
Shuggie is playing a few shows this year but will launch a proper tour around the release of the CD.
Read more at Brooklyn Vegan.