Shuggie Otis Brings
the Fun to Brooklyn Bowl
on Friday Night

Posted on Wednesday July 22nd in


Like so many of us, much of Johnny Alexander Veliotes Jr. stems from his parents. His prodigious musical chops were passed down from his dad, R&B pioneer Johnny Otis, and his nickname—short for sugar—came courtesy of his mom. And without them, the world wouldn’t know of Shuggie Otis. A precocious child, he first appeared on an album when he was just 15, which would be a pretty big deal for most kids. But then the next year, 1969, his debut album, Here Comes Shuggie Otis (stream it below), arrived. Freedom Flight, led by “Ice Cold Daydream” and “Strawberry Letter 23,” followed in 1971. The latter song became known the world over several years later thanks to the Quincy Jones–produced version done by the Brothers Johnson. Otis would then spend three years writing, arranging, producing and recording the soul, funk and psychedelic cult classic Inspiration Information, out in 1974. And then: poof. That was it. Despite overtures from the likes of Jones, the Rolling Stones and Billy Preston, Otis declined to tour or put out any more new music—other than working as a sideman—and eventually his recording contract was nullified. But, fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Because in 2013, Inspiration Information was reissued alongside Wings of Love (stream both below), comprised of unreleased material dating back to 1975, followed by a live release, Live in Williamsburg (stream it below), a year later. According to AllMusic, “More than just a long-awaited victory lap, Otis and his band sound like they’re having fun and it comes across on this release.” Have some of your own fun when Shuggie Otis plays Brooklyn Bowl on Friday.


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