Johnny Rawls – I Miss Otis Clay | Album Review

Johnny Rawls – I Miss Otis Clay

Third Street Cigar Records

10 songs time – 37:25

Long time soul-blues singer’s latest is a tribute to his friend of about forty years, singer Otis Clay. Aside from vocals Johnny provides rhythm guitar and keyboards, while his four piece band and horn section take care of the rest. The CD consists of light soul music without a hard edge. The songs vary from moderate speed to slow.

“California Shaking Again” is a bit of horn driven soul-blues fluff. Like on other tunes Johnny supplies the background vocals as well on “Give A Toast To The Blues” that is a soul song except for some bluesy guitar. The title track, the only song recorded outside Ohio was recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s taken slow with some tasty organ and piano. “Can’t Read Your Mind” is a classic soul tune employing a nifty horn riff and smooth backing vocals.”Motion Of The Ocean” is about love making set against a hypnotic beat.

Everything else included here follows pretty much the same light smooth soul formula whether taken fast or slow. “Kissing And Hugging” uses synth strings as one of the only changes in sound. The closing song “The Wind” is a slow soul ballad. “Slow Roll It” has a particularly easy groove to it.

If you are a fan of smooth southern soul music that isn’t intrusive this is the ticket for you. Johnny’s voice is mellow and soothing. Johnny wrote or co-wrote all the songs on this effort. He also handled the production with an able hand and good instrumental separation.

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