Category Archives: REVIEWS

Rock-N-Review

Category : REVIEWS

Otis – Eyes of the Sun
🤘🤘🤘

For anyone who read my review of Otis’ EP you know that these guys knocked me out when I first heard that disc. The first licks of the first song with Boone hollerin “You Ain’t Nothing But a Rattlesnake!” really knocked me on my ass; I simply wasn’t prepared for that. Well this time around, having spun both discs for several months now, I think I have a better grip on everything and hopefully this review comes across slightly more professional. I am still no expert on “the blues” and am apt to say something completely stupid, but at least I feel up to speed on Otis and what these guys are doing.

I took my time with this disc so that my review didn’t sound like a school girl talking about her new puppy, but damn, these guys make it difficult. They are simply impressive. For anyone worried about the sophomore jinx that can come with a second release, rest assured, these guys are the real deal. Boone’s voice IMO is still the defining element in this band. I just like it. Not sure how else to put it. It still sounds a little fangirlish when I read it out loud, but there it is. So now that I have wrecked any creditability I pretended to have we can get on with the review.

Quite simply it is good bluesy rock music. They have not just maintained that sound which initially set them apart, but have taken it and refined it with this second effort. The disc opens up with “Change” which immediately sets the tone and tempo of the entire record. “Blind Hawg” (video posted below) kicks it up a little more and is one of my favorite songs on the record. “Eyes of the Sun” comes along next and somewhere during this song is when you realize that they are not forcing it; these guys sound this way naturally. It’s not a trick of engineering or some clever mixing, they are not pretending to be something they are not, this is Otis and you either like it or you don’t. I do find “Eyes” and “Home” a little more laid back than the first two, and I guess this record as a whole has a more chilled attitude than the first one which is OK with me. “Shake You” is a bit of an exception to that note as, along with the first two songs, it kicks the pace back up a notch and is also where Boone’s voice really highlights that “Otis sound” for me. This song is what I think about when I talk about Otis. The guitar, the rhythm, and Boone screeching at me seems like every line should rip at his vocal chords, but it doesn’t, and he just keeps pumping on. The guitar here also spotlights Otis IMO. The way Boone and Steve pass back and forth while holding the integrity of the rhythm baffles me to no end; it is truly something special to listen to. On the complete other end of the spectrum the slower “Turn to Stone” might be my overall favorite from this disc. I say the feel of this disc seems to be a little more mellow than the EP, but I am not sure it is the tempo as much as it is just hypnotic at times. I think I said that about the first record too, but as I was better prepared this time I didn’t think they would get me with the same trick twice; maybe I was wrong.
“Washed My Hands” is also a favorite of mine here (can they all be my favorite?) but again I love Boone’s voice, I love the guitars intermingling back and forth, I love the story, I simply like it. This seems like a blues song to me. Same thing with “Loving Man”, which at this point I begin to question my mellow comment because both tunes are right back to the upbeat style where I am tapping the steering wheel and bobbing my head. I think I am left with the mellow feel because of how the record closes out with the instrumental “Relief In C”, “Chasing the Sun”, and “Let Your Love Shine” all in a row; again, almost mesmerizing.

So I am going to close out with the overall sound of the band rather than individual tunes because I find it remarkable as a non-blues guy that I like these guys as much as I do. I find this record to be an odd cross, somewhere between ZZ Top and Jeff Healey. I know Billy Gibbons is a big fan, and although I am not sure exactly how much (if any) influence he had on recording this record I find myself thinking of ZZ Top several times while spinning it. Boone’s voice is something all it’s own, and when he howls there is nothing I can compare it to, but at times on a few of the more laid back tunes I just find myself picturing two bearded guys from Texas spinning fuzzy guitars. Other times, when the guitars are speaking to me I imagine Healey sitting there with his rig on his lap bobbing his mullet around. I don’t know if it’s the tone of the guitar, I don’t know if it’s the notes, I just don’t know. What I do know is that I had not put a blues song in my playlist since Healey until these guys came along, and now I have several.

So, 3 ½ horns or 4 horns, again I am stuck in between, and again I am not sure it matters. This stuff is good and if you do not have this record you need to get it. I am still hoping to catch their show sometime soon because I HAVE to see this happen live.


OTIS Publican Nuevo Disco“Eyes of the Sun”

Category : REVIEWS

“This young twenty-year-old southern rock band is composed of Boone Froggett on vocals and guitar, Steve Jewell on guitar, John Seeley on electric bass, and Andrew Gilpin on drums. They come from the state of Kentucky and at a time when references to musical genre backgrounds are often an excuse for the lack of good material, Otis delivers hard southern rock evoking the giants of his genre without relying on them: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, The Marshall Trucker Band or some ZZ Top.

Otis record disc in which converge a great voice, sliding guitars, church choirs, six jams to a deadly rhythm, soul, funky, gopsel and blues embedded in that cauldron of great sounds. One of the best albums of 2017, this “Eyes of the Sun” by Otis.”

Segundo álbum de estudio de Otis con “Eyes of the Sun” publicado el pasado mes de septiembre de 2017. El álbum se autoprodujo con la ayuda de David Barrick, quien también diseñó y masterizó el disco. Paul Nelson actuó como productor ejecutivo. Nelson recordemos es un excelente guitarrista, ganador de un Grammy trabajando junto con Johnny Winter.

Esta joven banda veinteañera de rock sureño está compuesta por Boone Froggett a la voz y la guitarra, Steve Jewell a la guitarra, John Seeley al bajo eléctrico, y Andrew Gilpin a la batería. Proceden del estado de Kentucky y en una época donde las referencias a los géneros musicales antecedentes son a menudo una excusa por la falta de buen material, Otis entrega duro rock sureño evocando a los gigantes de su género sin depender de ellos: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, The Marshall Trucker Band o unos ZZ Top.

Grad disco de Otis en el que convergen una gran voz, guitarras deslizantes, coros de iglesia, seis jams a un ritmo mortal, soul, funky, gopsel y blues encajados en ese caldero de grandes sonidos. Uno de los mejores discos del 2017, éste “Eyes of the Sun” de Otis.

Escucha “Eyes of the Sun” (2017), el nuevo disco de Otis:

por Carlos Pérez Báez

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE


Congratulations to band OTIS for Receiving Perfect Rating

Category : REVIEWS

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE LATEST APRIL ISSUE

Featured Blues Review – 8 of 8
OTIS – Eyes of the Sun | Cleopatra Records
Executive Producer and guest guitarist – Paul Nelson
11 tracks / 57:24

 

“Read More”

Kentucky heat defeats the Beast from the East …

Category : REVIEWS

Tufnell Park saw two rare events last Friday: a train-stopping covering of snow and a jaw-dropping first UK show for OTIS.

Plunger had first been tipped off about the Kentucky Southern rockers by 68-75’s Suzanne Sledge back in 2014 but had pretty much given up hopes of seeing them here in Blighty, so we were mightily pissed off when this show clashed with an already-agreed gig elsewhere. Enter the Beast from the East, stranding the unfortunate act we were meant to see, prompting a last-minute online ticket purchase and a fingers-crossed Northern Line trip into the snow. Sadly it appeared the British Fail transport network had stopped more than a few getting to the Boston Music Room but those who did make it along basked in the Deep South heat of a sizzling set.

The four-piece of Boone Froggett on guitar and powerful, gutsy vocals (somewhere between Ronnie, Ricky and Gregg!) Steve Jewell Jr. (guitar), John Seeley (bass) and Andrew Gilpin (drums) distils the spirit of classic Southern blues rock for a new generation, blending raw heavy blues like the Hooker-meets-Mountain bludgeon of opener Rattlesnake and the minimalist, wild-slide topped Tough Times (which segued seamlessly into Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love) with big ballsy rockers like the down-and-dirty Blackfoot-like Washed My Hands.

There’s more to OTIS than Good Ol’ Boy bluster though: like all the best Southern bands they are more sophisticated than that. The Swamp Music-y backwoods romp of Lovin’ Man saw more complex rhythmic arrangements and a nice tricksy descending unison riff to a dead-stop finish; a brutal-but-clever Muleish riff with harmonised twin guitar drove Shake You, with stylish off kilter drumming and flaring Collinsesque guitar before a fantastic, spacey Les Brers midbreak with Steve and Boone indulging in some lovely ABB noodling and sweet twin guitar.

Drinking Woman had a Mule flavour too, with Steve’s trenchant solo given hammer-blow backing from the other three, some taut squealing guitar from Boone and more tricksy rhythms heralding an impressive short tour of the kit from Andrew. A touch of Soulshine appeared in the Southern soul psychedelia of Let Your Love Shine Down, with its splashes of exquisite crying guitar and sweet three-way harmony vocals from Boone, Steve and John culminating in a fine a cappella passage that introduced the highlight of the show: Steve’s lovely Allmansy discursive solo (with teases for Blue Sky and Jessica) was joined by Boone for more eye-watering interplay that picked up speed and intensity for a Rossington/Collins helter-skelter finish.

After Change, a final trip into slide-drenched barrelling roadhouse rock, and Blind Hawg (another violent, jagged riff underpinned by punishing drums and rolling thunder bass), OTIS were joined on stage by fellow Kentuckians Black Stone Cherry. Chris Robertson (vox/guitar) and Jon Lawhon (bass) took their places for the inevitable blues band encore Going Down, with Boone and Chris trading vocal and guitar lines, before a quick musical chairs shuffle brought Ben Wells (guitar) and John Fred Young (drums) on to join in a bustling canter through the Allman Brothers’ One Way Out.

It’s rare to hear Southern rock done ‘proper’ over here, and OTIS have just the right balance of the Skynyrd swagger, the Allmans inventiveness and Mule’s heft to tick all the boxes for Plunger. Hopefully it won’t be another four years til we see them here again.

#otis#blackstonecherry#bostonmusicroom#southern rock #plunger


New Segment: “The International Rock Review”

Category : REVIEWS

 

Hi Real Rockers!!!
Darren has a new segment called “The International Rock Review”. In this first clip he talks about the smokin’ blues rock band OTIS If you are a fan of The Allmans an Johnny Winter then you will love this band.

Check out this video on our YouTube Channel: Rock It Up! and don’t forget to subscribe!

 


Review: Music Street Journal | Gary Hill

Category : REVIEWS

Otis
Eyes of the Sun
Review by Gary Hill

If you dig a classic blues rock sound, there is plenty to like here. These guys almost feel like they should have been around in the 1970s. Yet, there is a crunchier, harder rocking edge than they would have had in that time period. This is a classic sounding album that has a freshness to its style.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 

 

Track by Track Review

Change
Bluesy rocking stuff, this is a classy number. There are hints of things like the Allman Brothers on this. Still, other elements seem like Lenny Kravitz.

Blind Hawg
Another blues rock tune, I love the guitar sound on this thing. The cut has a great vibe and a lot of energy.

Eyes of the Sun
There is some killer slide guitar built into this beast. Perhaps the blues influence is even more pronounced here. This is a hot and slinky number.

Home
Another stomping blues rocker, this might not be a big change, but it has a big sound.

Shake You
Another screaming hot stomper, this is another tune that makes me think of Lenny Kravitz in some ways. It can make out some hints of Grand Funk Railroad, too. Of course, this is more incendiary than either of those comparisons would indicate. There is a mellower jam mid-track that feels like something that could have come from the first Santana band.

Turn to Stone
A bit mellower, I don’t like this cut as well as I do the rest of them. It has a very classic sound, though. It just doesn’t seem to gel as well as the rest do. Still, there is some tasty guitar work, particularly the double soloing. A mellower kind of spacey jam at the end is a nice touch.

Washed My Hands
Although the basic concept isn’t changed, this is another killer blues rock stomper. It’s a screamer with both a powerhouse vocal performance and some meaty guitar work.

Lovin’ Man
In some ways this makes me think of early Aerosmith. I’m reminded a bit of ZZ Top, too. It’s all delivered with a very strong electric blues sound.

Relief in C
Starting with sitar, other acoustic instrumentation comes into the mix. This is set in a roots music vibe with almost a bluegrass goes Indian vibe to it. It really is a nice change of pace. This is the only instrumental on the disc, too.

Chasing the Sun
A slower blues rocker, this is classic stuff. I like it a lot. The guitar is classic. The whole cut really jams.

Let Your Love Shine Down
More of a soulful rocker, this has a classic rock vibe to it for sure. There is some more of that Allman Brothers thing in parts of this cut, particularly the involved jam late in the piece. I love the section with the multiple layers of vocals.


BallBuster Music: Quick-Tiques | Review by David LaDuke

Category : REVIEWS

Back in October of 2016 Guitarist Paul Nelson messaged me the following, “Thanks for turning me on to all this, Had a great time with Greg and Otis. In fact, he had such a great time he got them signed to Bullseye management, help them secured a record deal with Purple Pyramid Records (A division of Cleopatra) and even played on the album. Now OTIS are preparing to hit the European shores with their unique brand of down-home Southern fried Kentucky Rock, Blues & Roll. The band has already been paying their dues by doing road work with ‘Black Stone Cherry” and the Kentucky Headhunters’ here in the states. “Eyes Of The Sun.” showcases the band in a big way! Strong, solid musicianship of the highest caliber. Yes, I can hear the ZZ Topish influences, but there’s much more than that going on. Sounds of The Allman Brothers, Raging Slab, Molly Hatchet, 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd but believe me; this is an OTIS record! Each musician here complements each other. The guitar sounds and mixed is one to be reckoned. These guys are pros, and this album shows that from track one forward. Powerful, passionate vocals, damn beautiful harmonies, and some of the finest arrangements I’ve have heard in some time! The two guitarist jell very well with each other, and the rhythm section no doubt delivers a strong foundation and punch. 1st track ‘Change’ begins with a muscular Allman Brother vibe and some nifty slide work.
Track 2 ‘Blind Hawg’ is a hard rocking blues outing which includes some well-crafted hooks to reel you right in. Overall you have ten tracks of pure Southern-fried hard rocking boogie blues and one acoustic outing to lighten the load a bit. OTIS is the real deal and determined the south shall rise again. There you have it. I washed my hands in dirty water!

www.cleopatrarecords.com

www.otisband.net

Quick-Tiques | OTIS “Eyes Of The Sun” | Purple Pyramid Records
By David LaDuke January 5, 2018


Guitar Radio Show: Top 20 Albums of 2017 – #9 “Eyes of the Sun”

Category : REVIEWS

PODCAST: Here’s our Top 20 Albums for 2017. The records we just couldn’t stop listening to throughout the year…
Guitar Radio Show Ep 193 (79:09)


INK 19 – Year in Review

Category : REVIEWS

Year in Review

by Michelle Wilson

Otis

Eyes Of The Sun

Purple Pyramid Records/Cleopatra Records

When you have the likes of Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Paul Nelson (Johnny Winter) on your team, you must be damn good. That’s exactly the case with Otis, a four-piece band who recently signed with Cleopatra Records, and deservedly so. Singer/guitarists Boone Froggett and Steve Jewell along with bassist/vocalist John Seeley and drummer/vocalist Andrew Gilpin round out the lineup of one of the hottest up-and-coming blues/rock bands on today’s music scene. And they have the chops to back it up. In 2014, the boys paid homage to the late, great John Brim with a mind-blowing tribute record, Tough Times, and it was only a matter of time before they would land on a label. Gleaning their sound from Muddy Waters, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Willie and a swirl of Southern rockers, the boys from Central Kentucky have created their own hard, tight blues-soaked rock sound. Co-produced by the band and David Barrick, and executive produced by Paul Nelson (who also plays guitar on the ZZ Top-ish “Lovin’ Man”), ten of the eleven cuts are Otis originals. The phenomenal Eddie Stone offers Hammond B3 accents on “Shake You,” “Turn To Stone” and “Chasing The Sun,” while the instrumental “Relief In C” with Danny Williams’ mandolin accompaniment hearkens back to the Lennon/McCartney gem, “Norwegian Wood.” Froggett’s gravelly vocals are the ideal complement to the band’s Southern rock leanings. Their one cover on the record, Cowboy Joe Babcock’s “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters” (Washed My Hands), famously recorded by Stonewall Jackson, Johnny Rivers, Charlie Rich and Elvis Presley, is reinterpreted by the band to become totally their own with a hard blues/rock edge. Keep an eye on this band because they are the real deal. 

LINK/ink19.com/



Redondo y con Aguejero – Top 10 Albums of the Year

Category : REVIEWS

 
Otro disco de debut, que se cuela entre mis favoritos.
Otis una banda con el mejor de los sonidos, del más clásico Southern-blues-rock de siempre… Toda una exhibición de poderío.  Enorme banda!!
“Another debut album, which is among my favorites.
Otis a band with the best of sounds, the most classic Southern-blues-rock ever … All an exhibition of power. Huge band !!”