Alternative rockers to make Tupelo stop

Otis

On Saturday, Feb. 22, an up and coming Southern band will make a Tupelo stop at the Blue Canoe.

The blues rock roots band, OTIS, hails from Barren County, Kentucky — a place The Progressive Farmer once named the number one rural place to live. They are by far the best sound to come out the Bluegrass State since the Kentucky Headhunters.

Their sound, however, has been inoculated with a heavy dose of Texas blues akin to ZZ Top.

Perhaps that’s why many really liked their first CD so much, a tribute to the Kentucky blues man named John Brim.

“Our mentor and friend Greg Martin of The Kentucky Headhunters presented the idea of doing this tribute album to us and we loved it. Tough Times: Tribute to John Brim also features our very good friend Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie on harmonica,” said OTIS guitarist Steve Jewell.

Another early fan was Billy Gibbens, of ZZ Top, who said, “The “OTIS” disc is stunning. Fine singing, authentically talented harp work, sweet guitar tones... all around enjoyable listening. Done burned it in to the hard drive...!”

The boys recently released Eyes of the Sun, 11 cuts of good alternative rock with those heavy blues infections.

This new album is on Cleopatra Records, and was produced by Grammy-winning producer Paul Nelson, who earned his stripes by playing and performing with Johnny Winter and helping Johnny win a Grammy for his highly-acclaimed album, Step Back.

The members of Otis consist of Boone Froggett vocals/guitar, Jewell guitar, John Seeley bass, and Andrew Gilpin drums. The members of Otis share the same vision of writing and creating organic music while taking their audience to church by hitting on all emotions.

“One of the most important things Paul helped us with was song forms. Song forms were not something we really thought about much, at least not the way Paul understands them,” Jewell said. “We obviously know you have to have a verse and chorus, etc. A lot of songs have intros, bridges and jam sections but Paul really challenged us to step out of the box and discover new kinds of song forms and it’s really helped us as a band with our songwriting.”

So get set to see musical history in the making. Call Blue Canoe (662) 269-2642.

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