By Tom Marker

Join us on Blues Breakers this Monday at 9pm for the world premiere of a new song recorded in tribute to Otis Clay. You’ll hear a beautiful and heartfelt version of a great song that was a big Otis Clay favorite. Otis was often called Chicago’s #1 Soul Man. He was that and so much more. Recently guitarist/band leader/producer Dave Specter recorded a tribute to Otis with a long list of Chicago blues/soul/gospel A-list musicians including Shemekia Copeland, Cathy Richardson, Jimmy Johnson, and Rick Holmstrom. You’ll find all their names on the photo below.

Otis Clay was beloved by all that met him. He would give you the biggest smile you had ever seen and you were hooked. From the time of his first big hit, “Trying to Live My Life Without You,” to his recent collaborations and self-released albums, Otis put much love and feeling, in other words soul, into both his recordings and his live performances. And his live performances ran the gamut from churches to weddings to funerals to large gospel events to the best nightclubs on every side of town.

Otis died suddenly in the first month of this year from a heart attack. One of his recent recordings was as a guest vocalist on a few tracks of the album, Message In Blue, by Dave Specter. Dave has now gathered Otis’ horn section, back-up singers and many other artists who knew and loved him to record, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” This Joe South song was one of Otis’ favorites and was usually included as part of his live shows. Hear it for the first time anywhere this Monday evening on ‘XRT.

The release of this song will be paired with a live performance benefit on December 1st at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston. Tickets are now on sale with proceeds from the show and sale of the recording going to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.


otistribute Otis Clay Benefit Concert and Tribute Recording World Premiere


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