1. Introduction
  2. You're The One
  3. When Hearts Grow Cold
  4. Nickel And A Nail
  5. Sho Wasn't Me
  6. For The Good Times
  7. I Can Take You To Heaven Tonight
  8. Amen / This Little Light Of Mine *
  9. Love & Happiness
  10. I Just Wanna Testify
  11. Respect Yourself

OTIS CLAY – lead vocals
HOLLYWOOD SCOTT – guitar, background vocals
BENNY BROWN – keys, background vocals
DARRYL THOMPSON – trumpet, background vocals
FRED JOHNSON – trombone, background vocals
EDMUND FARR – drums, background vocals

Special Guests:
SHARRIE WILLIAMS – lead vocals *

A CCR Productions Recording

As part of our “In The House” series with live recordings from Lucerne, Switzerland, we have recorded the show of an American soul legend.

“In The States there's only one black music, rap,” Otis Clay says. He was born in Mississippi in 1942. “In my generation music still meant something. Marvin Gaye demanded that our troops pull out of Vietnam, and he recorded 'What's Going On', the best album in music history.” Along with Marvin Gaye, Clay was one of the celebrated stars of soul music. In the mid-seventies when soul was being overwhelmed by disco music, Clay wasn't in demand any longer. He escaped to Japan where he recorded the classic “Soul Man: Live In Japan” in 1978 – a glorious comeback.

Clay was forgotten, but he fought his way back. He closes his eyes, he whispers huskily and then lets go with his sparkling throaty baritone, roaring lustfully. You believe his pain, his ecstacy. “You have to move the people. It's all about trouble, love, comfort – it's all about life. That's why they call it soul music.”

He is father to nine children. His eldest son is forty, the youngest is just three-years-old. The life of a bluesman. There was no school in his small town in Mississippi, the poorest of the American states. When Otis was four he used to sing in the church choir. Any other kind of music was forbidden. “If we listened to the blues we were beaten”. But Clay snuck into a Muddy Waters concert, moved to sinful Memphis, landed in Chicago and was a professional musician by age 18.
In Chicago, a city with a blues tradition like no other, Otis Clay's name is the synonym for soul. With his clear and powerful vocals, his gospel-drenched style, and along with the nine-piece Platinum Band – one of the tightest, perfectly grooving soul bands in Chicago – Otis Clay is supplying us with ten moving songs, the best of Chicago Soul – Today!

Reviews CCD 11084

It does capture the feel of anticipation and build-up so integral to a live performance. It certainly proves that real soul music is safe in Otis Clay's hands. If you didn't already know that, I would advise you to check this out!

September 2005
Norman Darwen