Otis Redding is very special to me. Linda and I used to sit in a small basement area of the Union Building at UNT back in the late 1960s when it was NTSU. There was a juke box there. We were often joined by my best friend from junior high and high school days, Steve Witt. We would spend hours there between classes since Steve and I were commuters. Sam & Dave took us away from exam pressures. Al Green gave us a shot in the arm. But it was Otis Redding who wooed us. He was all soul.
Today, Steve and I are prone to send each other links or encouragement to Google a particular group or just an individual song. We do this a few times each month. Most of these are melodies that go back to high school and college days. To revisit George Harrison after the Beatles broke up is to be reminded of a talent not showcased when he was with the group. I didn’t even recall some of the songs he made until Steve pointed me to George’s own albums. They are brilliant. His talent, smothered by John and Paul’s, is pleasantly revealed.
So when my friend Steve emailed me to Google “St Paul & the Broken Bones,” I was expecting to find a Christian rock group. His son, Chris, had actually encouraged Steve to check out this group. On YouTube.com I was able to find the particular recording he wanted me to enjoy. It was called, “Call Me.”
I was delighted. Otis Redding has returned! But these guys are white. The lead singer’s voice is like Otis, but not quite Otis. Close enough. The horns are identical. And Otis’ soul voice and horns are intertwined like a mature vineyard.
Try these out today and enjoy a modern day fresh version of Otis Redding. The group currently seems to be playing for small venues. I am expecting that to change in the future as they get better known. Straight out of Birmingham, Alabama.
Grass is Greener (my favorite): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8yga8kygU
A full session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2Fr3ZIpNJs