R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

Satisfaction Guaranteed

14 MAY 10 DAVID NATHAN

As great as he was as a recording artist, Otis Redding was in his element as a live performer. Energetic, dynamic, soulful, a true showman, he owned the stage. The extent of his live firepower is evident with the release of Live On The Sunset Strip, the first complete representation of the Georgia native's unforgettable three-night stand at Hollywood's famed roadhouse club, the Whiskey A Go-Go.

The last show on a Saturday and two shows on a Sunday make up this historical 2-CD set and Redding -- backed by a thumpin' six-man horn section, bass, guitar and drums -- is bringing it. He's tremendous on "Just One More Day," an achingly emotive ballad, and makes the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" uniquely his own.

Some of the special moments come on the least obvious tunes like "Any Ole Way," a cut from Redding's The Soul Album, a lowdown reading of James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" and a driving version of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" performed with the kind of hard-edged grit that Lennon & McCartney likely never envisaged when they wrote it.

I saw Redding in London in 1967 headlining the famous Stax/Volt tour and he was unlike anyone I'd ever seen. Start to finish, Live On The Sunset Strip captures that raw talent and serves as a wonderful reminder of his true greatness.

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