[Photo: Jon Langford & Otis Clay, 2013]
While the majority of the music world (rightfully) mourns the passing of David Bowie, we'd like to take a moment of great and heartfelt appreciation for an extended member of the Bloodshot family we lost this weekend: OTIS CLAY.
Born in Mississippi, we Chicagoans are claiming him as our own. A top shelf soul and gospel talent who never really got the acclaim he deserved, over the years we got to see him perform with Kelly Hogan, Jon Langford, and all around town in small clubs and large festivals. I have cherished my Hi Records 7" records (on the Bloodshot jukebox as we speak) since I was a little wetbehindtheears dork.
Blessed with an electric, room-lighting smile and an infectious warmth, Otis always made me (and everyone else) feel far cooler and more important than I'll ever really be. To hang out with him a few times at Fitzgerald's is one of those thrills this job/cause has allowed me to experience that I'll never forget.
To have him contribute "Banks of the Ohio" on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' The Executioner's Last Songs Volumes 2 & 3 was and is a humbling mark of his generosity. And a seriously satisfying thrill as a label owner and music lover.