Otis Rush

VT vt@PIPELINE.COM
Tue Jul 29 18:17:20 EDT 1997


On Tue, 29 Jul 1997 13:12:23 -0700, in bit.listserv.blues-l, Dave
Melton <slydemann@earthlink.net> wrote:

>VT wrote:
>>
>> I'm sorry guys -
>>
>> "Screaming and Crying" by Otis Rush was recorded during a very bad
>> period for him.  I believe he was close to,  if not actually having a
>> breakdown
<snip>
>> This album is NOT representative of Otis by any stretch of the
>> imagination, and we really should not encourage the acquiring of this
>> album - I think it has been likened to having a picture taken in a
>> very embarrassing situation and having it published for all to see.
>>
>I wish a live album would have been made of what I heard on an
>audience tape of Otis that was recorded sometime in the mid 80's. It is
>one of the greatest guitar performances I have ever heard (not to
>mention the singing which is always great). It really makes your hair
>stand on end. He does the most amazing impression of Earl Hooker (but
>without a slide which makes it that much more amazing) I have ever
>heard, as well as really playing like Otis Rush, and not Albert King as
>he sometimes does, especially on the live recordings I have heard. I
>haven't heard any live record of his that even comes close to what I
>heard on that tape, and to me that's a shame. People ought to be able to
>hear how really amazing the man can be. (I'm not knocking any of his
>stuff, just wish they had caught this one.

>Dave Melton


This is more like it.....

Dave has managed to turn a conversation about a rather poor
performance/recording to one about a really positive experience.

I am not one for just being up all the time, neither do I feel that
one should never be negative....... BUT -

With Otis Rush we are talking about a true legend - his normal
performance has the effect of making many people's hair stand on end.

Yes, he has gone through bad patches - however, I have enjoyed many
great performances and many great recordings from him, that those
exceptions are exactly that - exceptions.

I am grateful we have someone like Otis to hear and see.

Which brings me back full circle - most of the bluespersons we talk
about here are legends - their overall body of work have given them
this status.

They are also all human - with normal human failings.  If they are not
to one's liking - fine, that's personal taste. But please don't  judge
them on a singular mistake or a few bad performances.

Put the shoe on the other foot - what happens if your mother
constantly harped on about the mistake you made during your teens and
portrayed you by that mistake?

As you know I write the occasional review - I have learnt that one can
still be honest and critical about "mistakes" or things not to one's
liking - but they have to be done in context and shouldn't be blown
out of all reasonable proportion......

--

Vincent
vt@pipeline.com





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