Shuggie Otis "Live in Williamsburg" Slow Start to a Slow Jam

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Shuggie Otis, Live in Williamsburg

Shuggie Otis. Not a name I'd ever heard before, despite his legacy (he's the son of Johnny Otis, and turned down an opportunity from Billy Preston to replace Mick Taylor for The Rolling Stones' world tour, for those who are as uninformed as I was). But I do love me some blues guitar, no matter who's playing it, so I was eager to give this album a try.

This is a live album, and has all the foibles and missteps one expects from such a venture. I urge the new listener to persevere past the first few opening tracks. I felt the band had not quite warmed up yet, musically or vocally, and it showed in several places, although the guitar work was superb. About the time you get to track number five, "Me and My Woman," this album starts to take off in a major fashion.

 

 

Despite the extended slow start, once Shuggie's band finds its groove, the rest of the album is pure funkadelic silk, culminating in a live version of Shuggie's original classic, "Strawberry Letter 23." If you need to mellow out with some seventies sounds, "Live in Williamsburg" is your ticket to a good time.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0