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MP3 Otis Grand - Hipster Blues

Otis Grand has been voted the Best United Kingdom Blues Guitarist for 7 straight years.

14 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Electric Blues, BLUES: Texas Style

“I hope you enjoy the kind of real music that I grew up listening to in the 60’s and still love the best. This is the only kind of music that is a cure for today’s MTV from hell”.
Otis Grand

Britain’s most popular Blues guitarist and bandleader, described by https://www.tradebit.comg as “…. Plays the Blues like I did when I was young”, personal friend and frequent collaborator with Ike Turner, winner of many ‘Best Guitarist’ awards in numerous polls all over the World at lon g last delivers a new album. Its fitting too that Otis, voted by Guitarist magazine as ‘one of the top 50 greatest Blues guitarists who ever walked the earth‘ should again produce a record that not only continues his almost single handed crusade to keep the classic Blues sound of the 50’s and 60’s alive but also takes the genre into new and different directions.

Today, Otis is generally regarded as the foremost authority and guitar player keeping the blues style of BB King and T-Bone Walker alive and well, with a stunning live show that takes audiences back to the good old days.

Although it has taken over 2 years for Otis Grand to produce “Hipster Blues”, the wait is well worth it. Serious family responsibilities took Otis off the circuit for two and a half years and back to the United States. He lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where there are more Churches than Bars, but this enabled him to kick-start the non-existent Blues scene and more importantly to soak up a lot of the music scene unique to the Carolinas – Beach Music.

The Carolina’s, especially areas like Myrtle Beach, have clung to the shuffle rhythms of 50’s R&B and the sounds of original 60s’ Dance-based tunes. Hearing these sounds again was reminiscent of the records that fuelled his desire to take up the guitar. Always as inspired by the style of players like Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, the Ventures, and The Tielman Brothers, as well as the Classic Blues originators, exposure to Beach music sowed the seeds for the concept that became “Hipster Blues”.

The 14 track collection harkens back to the British Mod scene of the 60’s when Blues men like B.B. King, Freddie King and Buddy Guy would find their music interpreted by British bands alongside the work of hip jazzmen like Lou Donaldson, Brother Jack McDuff, Jimmy MGriff, Horace Silver or Ray Bryant. The club jocks of the day would carry boxes of 45’s that would not just contain the hippest sounds on Atlantic or Stax but also Blue Note, Impulse and Prestige. There were no demarcation lines between hip R&B and hip jazz in those days and naturally there aren’t any either on this set, Otis’ 14th CD.

• Slo-Mo-Shun: What a great title!! could have been recorded for Prestige or Blue Note by Freddie King, and the party sounds only add to it’s Sixties ambience.
• Hipster Blues #5: It is another cool instrumental straight out of the Soul Jazz book like a Lou Donaldson workout with searing guitar where the sax should be!
• 3 Time Loser: Otis’ newest vocal discovery, Londoner Reuben Richards does justice to this obscure Wilson Picket. Pure 60’s R&B with a twist of Blues.
• Mooki Sooki / Sleepwalk: It’s easy with hindsight to forget that Fleetwood Mac’s commercial breakthrough with “Albatross” came not with an interpretation of an Otis Rush riff but with an instrumental that took it’s inspiration from Santo & Johnny’s classic million seller, “Sleepwalk” and here Otis takes the original and interpolates it with his own bluesy “Mooki Sooki” and brings it bang up to date with precise bluesy finger vibrato instead of the steel bar.
• Overdrive: Freddie King whose appeal spread far wider than his guitar virtuosity might indicate is represented by one of his many instrumentals, the obscure “Overdrive”.
• Satan’s Blues: Otis’ commitment to the real hard Blues is not neglected either, as can be witnessed in ‘Satan’s Blues’ - the slow-burner, fire and brimstone minor blues workout that is Otis’ forte.
• Every Girl I See: As if to emphasise the 60’s Mod connections let’s not forget that “Every Girl I See” was a huge club hit in the 60’s via its original 45 by Buddy Guy. Here, Otis goes one step beyond and turns it into a modern Latin beat dance number but still keeps the essence of Willie Dixon’s bad intentions.

Otis’ fave vocalists who have performed on all his previous albums are back with a vengeance as Curtis Salgado and Sugar Ray Norcia join his touring Band vocalist, ex Ike Turner singer Jimmy Thomas on several tracks.

Here then is “Hipster Blues”, a blissful revisit to sounds you could have heard at any club in London’s Soho or New York City, or Shag Nites at Beach parties during the Sixties.

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