Living Blues - 7-8/01, pp.72-3
"...The music [defies] convention....this is a recording that sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released ..."
Personnel includes: Johnny Otis (vocals, guitar, piano); Mighty Mouth Evans (vocals); Shuggie Otis (guitar, bass); Sugarcane Harris (violin); Al Rivera (piano); Broadway Thomas (bass); Hootie Galvan, Buddy Reid (drums).
Personnel: Johnny Otis (vocals, piano, drums); Mighty Mouth Evans (vocals); Shuggie Otis (guitar, harmonica); Don "Sugarcane" Harris (violin); Al Rivera (piano); Hootie Galvan, Buddy Redd (drums).
Arranger: Johnny Otis.
Though Otis' 1969 album wasn't much different from the straightforward R&B he'd been doing for years, it did have some updated rock, soul, and funk influences, due in large part to the presence of his teenage guitarist son, Shuggie Otis. The band is tight and the vocals OK, but it's on the ordinary side as far as such music goes, even if the stew of blues, soul, and funk is reasonably solid. Well, it's not wholly ordinary: "The Signifyin' Monkey Part 1" has some daringly profane language for 1969, with the word "motherf*cker" cropping up in the very first line and a drawling spoken delivery that anticipated rap. This track's approach, particularly in its lewd language, would be amplified on the Otis album credited to Snatch and the Poontangs the same year, Snatch and the Poontangs. Cold Shot and Snatch and the Poontangs were combined onto one CD on an Ace reissue in 2002, with the addition of two previously unreleased Snatch and the Poontangs tracks. ~ Richie Unterberger