ABS (France) magazine 2015

Otis Grand – Blues From The Heart – JSP5804

This concert, produced in colour with the exception of Looking Good presented in black and white was recorded live at the Fuggle and Firkin Blues Club in Oxford, UK, on the 23rd February 1998

Before settling in Great Britain, Otis Grand spent his youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, being exposed to the influence of local bluesmen. He remembers discovering at the age of ten Johnny Moore, who accompanied Nat King Cole on guitar; Johnny Otis and his big ban and listening to B.B. Kings LP “Live at the Regal” in which he covered “Whole Lotta Love” in around 1965-66, which Grand claims “changed his life”. Bill Dogget is another artist whom Grand claims greatly influenced his music (Hold It), along with Albert Collins (The Freeze), Chuck Berry (Rock it) and Chicago Blues musicians Magic Sam (Looking Good), London/Jr. Wells (Come On In This House), and Willie Dixon/Howling Wolf (Howling For My Darling).

Grand is also a composer himself and author of four pieces performed in the concert presented on this DVD, including the ever touching It’s All Blues – Blues From The Heart which is the concluding act of the session. Grand is known for his intense and heart-wrenching guitar performances, and this concert is no exception, present throughout and accompanied by his signature facial contortions known as “sucking eggs”. Worthy mention goes to Brother Roy Oakley for his outstanding vocals.