When Shuggie Otis was a teenager, he played guitar in father Johnny Otis's band - but wore sunglasses and painted on a mustache so that no one would think that he was really just 14. He sat in on a few sessions with Frank Zappa. He was offered (and declined) the guitarist slot in the Rolling Stones when Mick Taylor left the band. But perhaps most interestingly, he released a remarkable album in 1974 called "Inspiration Information" which appears to have been largely ignored by the masses at the time. I'm not sure why - it's a wonderful mix of relaxed soul and blues, lightly touched with funk. Listening to the recent re-release by Luaka Bop Records, it sounds remarkably fresh and current, as if it had just been recorded today. Perhaps it was just too forward-looking for the times - it has influenced loads of current groups, from Stereolab to Tortoise to Da Lata. Shuggie hasn't released an album since "Inspiration Information", and doesn't perform much for health reasons, so if he stops by your town, stop by and see him.
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