As if it’s not enough of a disappointment to have me back after three solid weeks of excellent Wednesday Music Posts, y’all are getting the short version this week – a simple recommendation.
Shuggie Otis was a musical prodigy. You can read about him here.
Highly RIYL: Marvin, Curtis, Stevie, Sly, or Prince.
His 1974 album Inspiration Information has just been reissued again. It’s full of gentle, jazzy, mildly-psychedelic soul/R&B, and it is one of my favorite albums to listen to when puttering around the house on a Sunday morning.
(Though I think it will do just fine for a Wednesday too.)
You might know one of Shuggie’s songs, because a 1977 cover of it by The Brothers Johnson reached #1 R&B and #5 Pop on Billboard’s charts:
The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23 (Shuggie Otis cover)
Dat bass is boss, but I prefer the original. Less carnal thump, more wistful longing:
Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23
A multi-instrumentalist one-man-band in a Prince-prefiguring way, Shuggie was even playing around with early drum machines (and creatively-mangled spellings):
Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed
Shuggie Otis – Island Letter
Shuggie Otis – Freedom Flight (10-minute edit)
If you are thinking that was some impressive guitar playing and composition in that last one, keep in mind that Shuggie was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD when he wrote and played many of the instruments on it.
What’s your favorite Sunday-morning-happily-relaxing music?