Archive for January, 2012

#10: The Johnny Otis Show – Cold Shot – United

Posted in Gold with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by xxx
As always the download link is located at the bottom of the post.

I was listening to John Mayall play the blues when I heard the news,

Headlines read that Johnny Otis, the legendary band-leader and Los Angeles cultural icon, had passed. The newspapers called him “the Godfather of Rhythm and Blues” and told of his legacy of influence that he had on music. Reading about him, I learned all about this man and his strange life as a Greek-American who became an important figure in African-American music. By and large, young people today don’t know his name, but Johnny Otis’ legacy can’t be avoided. For one, he discovered many musicians and produced songs that we all know and love. More importantly (for me), he was the father of Shuggie Otis, the songwriter of Strawberry Letter 23 and teenage-virtuoso guitarist… just an incredible musician in his own right.  That’s how I came to learn about Johnny Otis: through the music of his son.

The album that I’m sharing here is called Cold Shot by The Johnny Otis Show feat. Mighty Mouth Evans and Shuggie Otis on guitar. It was originally released in 1969, but this copy is the United reissue from the 1970s. It’s a great blues album with some really fun songs featuring great production and, as mentioned before, the maestro guitar work of a 16-year old Shuggie Otis. Country Girl, Cold Shot, Sittin’ Here All Alone and Goin’ Back To LA are standout tracks for me. Just a really great album filled with tremendous amounts of heart and soul. I hope that you enjoy it.

In Honor of Johnny Otis : 1921 – 2012 :


#9: Kiddus I – Security in the Streets b/w Too Fat (12″) – Shepherd

Posted in Gold with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by xxx
As always, the download link is located near the bottom of the post.

If you’ve seen the film Rockers,

then you know who Kiddus I is. For those of you who haven’t seen the Jamaican-made reggae reinterpretation of The Bicycle Thief , then I’d recommend that you go see it immediately. Within the first 30 minutes of the film you will be introduced to Kiddus I, the dreadlocked musician laying down vocals in Jack Ruby‘s studio. The clip from the film can be seen here:

It’s a fantastic scene that always sends chills down my spine; Kiddus’ vocals tend to have that effect on me. The scene is also notable for documenting the manufacturing process of making vinyl records. If you want to, you can use your imagination with me and imagine that the record pressed in the video is the one that I have digitized for you all tonight.

It’s nothing too special really. Just a 12″ Single with two of Kiddus I’s songs produced by Lee Perry at the Black Ark Studio. It’s a perfect match between Lee Perry’s virtuosic production and Kiddus I’s soothing voice. The first song, Security in the Streets is one of those songs that never fails to get me up  and dancing. But there’s more to it and it’s something that’s missing from the dance music of today. There’s a positive message of freedom, compassion, community, peace and  a hint of anarchy. The song is about a community taking responsibility into their own hands and looking after themselves. It’s about combating crime with the power of goodwill and love instead of violence. It’s an empowering song. So play it next time you feel that “get-together spirit” with the ones that you love.

The next song is “Too Fat”, a song mainly about greed. Think of it almost as a reggae version of “Taxman” by The Beatles. It’s a mellow song, with Kiddus getting soulful over a typically groovy Perry “riddim”.

So enjoy these two.