Blues The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:26:22 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Otis Spann - Is The Blues (1960/2000) Otis Spann - Is The Blues (1960/2000)

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1 	The Hard Way	5:00
2 	Take A Little Walk With Me	3:23
3 	Otis In The Dark	4:32
4 	Little Boy Blue	3:38
5 	Country Boy	4:22
6 	Beat-Up Team	5:57
7 	My Daily Wish	4:10
8 	Great Northern Stomp	4:13
9 	I Got Rumbling On My Mind #2	4:00
10 	Worried Life Blues	4:22
Hidden Bonus Tracks
11 	Spann And Bob	3:19
12 	Can’t Stand Your Evil Ways (Take 2)	3:43
13 	Talkin’ The Blues (Take 1)	5:42
14 	Baby Child (Take 3)	4:26
15 	Cow Cow Blues	4:16
16 	Beat-Up Team (First Version)	6:36

Guitar, Vocals – Robert Lockwood Jr. 
Piano, Vocals – Otis Spann 
Tracks 11-16 are hidden bonus tracks and are not listed anywhere on the artwork.
These tracks were originally on the Japanese releases on P-Vine Records and on the limited-edition Mosaic box set. 


Otis Spann may not have been the blues, but he was sure close to being the blues pianist. Spann provided wonderful, imaginative, tasty piano solos and better-than-average vocals, and was arguably the best player whose style was more restrained than animated. Not that he couldn't rock the house, but Spann's forte was making you think as well as making you dance, and the tracks on Otis Spann Is the Blues will do both. ---Ron Wynn, AllMusic Review


NOT only is there no doubting that Otis Spann is one of the finest exponents of Chicago Blues piano ever, there can also be little doubt that this record, originally released by Candid Records in 1960, is one of the best recordings of Spann as a front man.

He was normally considered to be Muddy Waters' accompanist and yet he was a great lyrical story teller in the Blues idiom in his own right. On this recording, he shares vocal duties with Robert Lockwood Junior, who also plays the guitars and the interplay between the two men is tangible.

The instrumental duet within the track, "Beat Up Team", when Spann says, "Watch out Brother Robert" and launches into a piano solo which is more than ably answered by Lockwood on the guitar, is a joy and during the intro of the following track, "My Daily Wish", the duelling continues in a musical symbiosis which lifts the album well above the ordinary.

A great example of the genre and some damn fine tunes. Hard to list stand out tracks as they are all so good, however, "Otis In The Dark" with its piano solo by Spann, "Beat Up Team" and "My Daily Wish" are archetypal Blues songs and the album's closing song, "Worried Life Blues", sums it all up. As the man says,

"This is my story.  

All I got to say to you.  

So long baby, 

I don't care what you do.".  

This record is part of the series of 100% authentic analogue re-releases on 180g vinyl that have been audiophile remastered by Pure Pleasure Records. As ever, with Pure Pleasure Records, the quality is exquisite and is well worth a listen. ---Paul Stewart,

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:24:00 +0000
Otis Spann ‎– Nobody Knows My Troubles (1967) Otis Spann ‎– Nobody Knows My Troubles (1967)

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A1 	Get Your Hands Out Of My Pocket 	
A2 	Nobody Knows My Troubles 	
A3 	Sarah Street 	
A4 	Worried Life Blues 	
A5 	You Can't Hide 	
A6 	Jack-Knife 	
A7 	What's On Your Worried Mind? 	
B1 	Vicksburg Blues 	
B2 	Who's Out There? 	
B3 	Spann's Boogie Woogie 	
B4 	See See Rider 	
B5 	Lovin' You 	
B6 	One-Room Country Shack 	
B7 	Mr. Jelly-Roll Baker

Bass – Jimmy Lee Morris (tracks: A1, A3, A6, B2, B5)
Drums – Robert Whitehead (tracks: B1), S.P. Leary (tracks: A1, A3, A6, B2, B5)
Guitar – Johnny Young (3) (tracks: A1, A3, A6, B2, B5)
Harmonica – James Cotton (tracks: A1, A3, A6, B2, B5)
Vocals, Piano, Organ – Otis Spann


The great Otis Spann was just 40 when he passed on but what a bluesman he was. This recording, although somewhat shy in playing time for a compact disc, contains a mess of some fine piano playing (one track with organ) & singing of straight-ahead blues from Otis. Recorded in 1965 & 66 by the late Pete Welding, these sides capture Mr. Spann just before his health began to take a spiral for the worst and are well worth giving a listen to.

While Otis Spann really attained his reputation from the earlier sides as the band pianist with Muddy Waters, it was not until the mid-60's blues boom that he gained recognition from an audience outside the Chicago blues clubs and the American chitlin' circuit.

Otis is complimented here by a stock Chicago blues band for the times which means he gets able backing from Johnny Young/Johnny Shines (guitar), Jimmy Lee Morris/Lee Jackson (bass), S.P. Leary/Fred Below (drums), and Jimmy Cotton/Shakey Horton (harmonica). Eight of the titles are Otis playing and singing solo, displaying his magnificent interpretations of blues standards from some of his influences, these being Big Maceo Merriweather, Little Brother Montgomery, and Sonny Boy Williamson (Willie Miller).

On most of the band cuts, you get James Cotton wailing away with some of the fiercest harp ever put on recording tape. One title includes the great Walter Horton, a frequent companion on many of Spann's recordings from this time period. The high quality of the music and playing on this set ranks it up closer to the superb Candid recordings that Otis Spann made with Robert Lockwood Jr. about 5 years earlier.

The single factor that prevents these sides from earning an extra star is the mediocre sound which seemed to be a trademark on most of the mid-60's Testament recordings and the CD restoration is not much improved compared to the original vinyl issues. These recordings are however, far more listenable that what was to come a few years later on those tepid overproduced sessions for Bluesway. If you are a Spann fan, you already have this one; if you're not, along with the Candid recordings, it's a good place to start.

Despite his truncated career, Otis Spann made many fine other recordings as a sideman. If you like Chicago Blues from the 50's & 60's be sure to check them out. ---Curtiss Clarke,

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Sat, 08 Dec 2018 09:50:29 +0000
Otis Spann ‎– Half Ain't Been Told (1980) Otis Spann ‎– Half Ain't Been Told (1980)

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A1 	Rock Me Mama 	
A2 	I Came From Clarksdale 	
A3 	Keep Your Hand Out Of My Pocket 	
A4 	Spann's Boogie 	
A5 	Sarah Street 	
A6 	The Blues Don't Like Nobody 	
A7 	My Home Is In The Delta 	
B1 	Meet Me In The Bottom 	
B2 	Lost Sheep In The Fold 	
B3 	I Got A Feeling 	
B4 	Jangleboogie 	
B5 	T 99 	
B6 	Natural Days 	
B7 	You Gonna Need My Help

Ransom Knowling - bass
Otis Spann - Piano, Vocals
Memphis Slim – harmonica (track: B7)
Little Willie Smith - drums
Muddy Waters – guitar, vocals (track: B7)


"Most of the people who come to hear us want to hear stories of their own experiences. That's what we give them." - Otis Spann

The music of Otis Spann is immediate and urgent. Completely clear in its content. Otis is one of the great and thoroughly authentic blues storytellers. Into his blues piano playing Otis put his soul. As part of the Muddy Waters' band he could frequently be found in Chicago's south side performing nightly with Muddy. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Wed, 06 Jul 2016 14:10:30 +0000
Otis Spann - Walking The Blues (1972) Otis Spann - Walking The Blues (1972)

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01. It Must Have Been The Devil (3:47)
02. Otis Blues (4:19)
03. Going Down Slow (4:01)
04. Half Ain't Been Told (4:42)
05. Monkey Woman (4:59)
06. This Is The Blues (3:10)
07. Evil Ways (3:54)
08. Come Day Go Day (4:13)
09. Walking The Blues (4:58)
10. Bad Condition (4:24)
11. My Home Is In The Delta (3:13)

Otis Spann - piano, vocals
Robert Lockwood, Jr. – guitar, vocals
James Burke Oden, St. Louis Jimmy Oden - vocals


Walking the Blues is arguably the finest record Otis Spann ever cut, boasting 11 cuts of astounding blues piano. On several numbers, Spann is supported by guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood and their interaction is sympathetic, warm, and utterly inviting. Spann relies on originals here, from "Half Ain't Been Told" to "Walking the Blues," but he also throws in a few standards ("Goin' Down Slow," "My Home Is in the Delta") that help draw a fuller portrait of his musicianship. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Walking the Blues simply sounds great -- it's some of the finest blues piano you'll ever hear. ---Thom Owens , Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Sat, 22 Jun 2013 16:04:30 +0000
Otis Spann - My Home in the Delta – The Blues Collection 32 Otis Spann - My Home in the Delta – The Blues Collection 32

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01 – Country Boy
02 – Beat-Up Team
03 – My Daily Wish
04 – Great Northern Stomp
05 – I Got Rambling on My Mind
06 – Worried Life Blues
07 – The Hard Way
08 – Half Ain’t Been told
09 – Monkey Face Woman
10 – Evil Ways
11 – Bad Condition
12 – My Home in the Delta


An integral member of the nonpareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and '60s, pianist Otis Spann took his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now Chicago's leading post-war blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters' classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters' seminal 1960 live version of "Got My Mojo Working" (cut at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival, where Spann dazzled the assembled throng with some sensational storming boogies).

The Mississippi native began playing piano by age eight, influenced by local ivories stalwart Friday Ford. At 14, he was playing in bands around Jackson, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to Chicago in 1946 or 1947.

Spann gigged on his own and with guitarist Morris Pejoe before hooking up with Waters in 1952. His first Chess date behind the Chicago icon the next year produced "Blow Wind Blow." Subsequent Waters classics sporting Spann's ivories include "Hoochie Coochie Man," "I'm Ready," and "Just Make Love to Me."

Strangely, Chess somehow failed to recognize Spann's vocal abilities. His own Chess output was limited to a 1954 single, "It Must Have Been the Devil," that featured B.B. King on guitar, and sessions in 1956 and 1963 that remained in the can for decades. So Spann looked elsewhere, waxing a stunning album for Candid with guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood in 1960, a largely solo outing for Storyville in 1963 that was cut in Copenhagen, a set for British Decca the following year that found him in the company of Waters and Eric Clapton, and a 1964 LP for Prestige where Spann shared vocal duties with bandmate James Cotton. Testament and Vanguard both recorded Spann as a leader in 1965.

The Blues Is Where It's At, Spann's enduring 1966 album for ABC-Bluesway, sounded like a live recording but was actually a studio date enlivened by a gaggle of enthusiastic onlookers who applauded every song (Waters, guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, and George "Harmonica" Smith were among the support crew on the date). A Bluesway encore, The Bottom of the Blues, followed in 1967 and featured Otis' wife, Lucille Spann, helping out on vocals.

Spann's last few years with Muddy Waters were memorable for their collaboration on the Chess set Fathers and Sons, but the pianist was clearly ready to launch a solo career, recording a set for Blue Horizon with British blues-rockers Fleetwood Mac that produced Spann's laid-back "Hungry Country Girl." He finally turned the piano chair in the Waters band over to Pinetop Perkins in 1969, but fate didn't grant Spann long to achieve solo stardom. He was stricken with cancer and died in April of 1970. --- Bill Dahl, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Sat, 07 Jul 2012 18:52:00 +0000
Otis Spann & Fleetwood Mac - The Biggest Thing Since Colossus (1969) Otis Spann & Fleetwood Mac - The Biggest Thing Since Colossus (1969)

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01. My Love Depends on You (5:22) 
02. Walkin' (2:54) 			play
03. It Was a Big Thing (3:26) 
04. Temperature Is Rising (100. 2 F) (6:13) 
05. Dig You (3:04) 
06. No More Doggin' (3:00) 
07. Ain't Nobody's Business (5:15) 		play
08. She Needs Some Loving (3:08) 
09. I Need Some Air (4:40) 
10. Someday Baby (3:02)

Otis Spann – vocals, piano
Fleetwood Mac:
Danny Kirwan- (Guitar),
John McVie- (Bass), 
Peter Green- (Guitar), 
S.P. Leary- (Drums).


The Biggest Thing Since Colossus is an album by American blues musician Otis Spann, released in 1969 (see 1969 in music). The album is also notable for the fact that Spann's backing band on this occasion were members of Fleetwood Mac, who were touring in America at the time. Spann had been involved in the recording of the Blues Jam at Chess album, and a rapport had been struck between Spann and the British band, which led to their participation on Spann's new album.

It was agreed beforehand that Spann's friend and longtime associate S.P. Leary would play drums on the album, and Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood did not take part in the recording. Guitarists Peter Green and Danny Kirwan, and bassist John McVie all contributed to each track, and it is often claimed that Green produced some of his best playing on this album.

"Walkin'" was released as a single in some countries, with "Temperature Is Rising (98.8°F)" (a different version to that found on the album) on the B-side. Another track was recorded at the sessions, "Blues For Hippies", which was not included on the album.

In January of 1969, British power blues quintet Fleetwood Mac came to Chess Records studios to jam with the likes of Willie Dixon, S.P. Leary, Honeyboy Edwards, and longtime Muddy Waters' pianist Otis Spann. The sessions were so rich and fruitful that three-fifths of the Mac (specifically bassist John McVie and guitarists Peter Green and Danny Kirwin) impressed Spann enough to cut a record with them at the same sessions. While the classic "Country Girl" and a seven-minute "Someday Soon Baby" (which features a lengthy intro from Green on which Spann can be heard barely off mic telling the rest of the band to "let him play on") ended up on the Mac's Blues Jam at Chess double set: remaining cuts included "Dig You" and "Walkin'" and are a near perfect match of Spann's exciting, emotive singing and the Mac's youthful muscle. The Biggest Thing Since Colossus was released on Mac manager/producer/strongman Mike Vernon's London-based Blue Horizon label. ---John Duffy, All Music Guide.


This CD, recorded in 1969, captures two great blues instrumentalists, pianist Otis Spann of Muddy Waters' Chicago blues band and guitarist Peter Green of the original Fleetwood Mac, at the hight of their considerable powers. Otis Spann, perhaps THE premier blues pianist of all time, handles the vocals on all tracks, but the beauty of this record is the instrumental interplay between Spann and British blues guitarist Peter Green, a founding member of the original Fleetwood Mac band. While the tracks have a relaxed, jam session feel to them, the playing is anything but sloppy. Green's tone and phrasing are just wonderful. ---David Tepper.

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Thu, 14 Jul 2011 08:47:46 +0000
Otis Spann – The Blues Never Die! (1964) Otis Spann – The Blues Never Die! (1964)

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A1. The Blues Never Die 3:40  	play
A2. I Got a Feeling 2:560  
A3. One More Mile to Go 3:45  
A4. Feelin' Good 3:30  
A5. After a While 2:36  

B1. Dust My Broom 2:35  		play
B2. Straighten up, Baby 2:30   
B3. Come On 2:40  
B4. Must Have Been the Devil 2:40  
B5. Lightnin' 2:50  
B6. I'm Ready 3:05

Otis Spann– Piano, Vocals 
Muddy Waters, James Madison– Guitar
Milton Rector– Bass
S.P. Leary– Drums
James Cotton– Harmonica, Vocals


This album brings together slow, smoky numbers like "One More Mile To Go" and "After Awhile" with a nice rendition of Elmore James' muscular boogie "Dust My Broom", a funky "Come On", and a pretty tough version of Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready". Spann's darkly humorous "Must Have Been The Devil" is another highlight, as is the swaggering mid-tempo grind of "Straighten Up, Baby".

Otis Spann shares lead vocals with harpist (and occational bandmate) James Cotton, and they are backed by a tight band which includes drummer S.P. Leary, bassist Milton Rector, and guitarists James "Pee Wee" Madison and "Dirty Rivers" - an obvious pseudonym for Spann's, Madison's and Cotton's everyday employer Muddy Waters, who couldn't officially appear on a Prestige/Bluesville album. (Remember how Buddy Guy was once credited as "Friendly Chap" because he was under contract with Chess and couldn't legally record for Junior Wells' record company Delmark?)

This album is perhaps not quite as remarkable as prime cut Muddy Waters or Elmore James, but "The Blues Never Die" is nevertheless a highly professional, very enjoyable, and consistently rewarding blues record. Definitely recommended. ---Docendo Discimus.


Boasting fellow Chicago blues dynamo James Cotton on both harmonica and lead vocals, The Blues Never Die! is one of Otis Spann's most inspired albums. When this session was recorded for Prestige's Bluesville subsidiary in 1964, Spann was still best known for playing acoustic piano in Muddy Waters' band. But The Blues Never Die! (which Fantasy reissued on CD in 1990 on its Original Blues Classics imprint) shows that he was as great a leader as he was a sideman. From Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready" (a Chess gem Spann had played numerous times with Waters) and Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" to Cotton's spirited "Feelin' Good" and Spann's dark-humored "Must Have Been the Devil," Spann and Cotton enjoy a very strong rapport on this consistently rewarding date. ---Alex Henderson. All MusicGuide.

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Sun, 10 Jul 2011 08:57:59 +0000
Otis Spann – Cryin’ Time (1969) Otis Spann – Cryin’ Time (1969)

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1. Home to Mississippi (Otis Spann) 3:26
2. Blues Is a Botheration (Otis Spann) 4:02
3. You Said You'd Be on Time (George Spink/Otis Spann)
4. Cryin' Time (Otis Spann) 3:11
5. Blind Man (Traditional) 3:18
6. Some Day (Otis Spann) 4:35
7. Twisted Snake (Otis Spann) 3:02
8. Green Flowers (McKinley Morganfield) 3:44
9. The New Boogaloo (Otis Spann) 2:09
10. Mule Kicking in My Stall (Otis Spann) 3:29

Otis Spann (Piano, Organ and Vocals)
Lonnie Taylor (Drums)
Jos Davidson (Bass Guitar)
Barry Melton (Guitar)
Luther Johnson (Guitar)
Lucille Spann (Vocals) - 5,6


While the Muddy Waters sideman is best known for piano, his soulful organ steals the show on this late-'60s release. His singing is serviceable, helped by wife Lucille Spann on two cuts. Country Joe & the Fish co-founder Barry Melton plays lead guitar, with Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson taking the second chair. ---Mark Allan

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Sat, 31 Jul 2010 10:07:13 +0000
Otis Spann – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (2006) Otis Spann – The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (2006)

Disc: 1
01. Can't Do Me No Good
02. Bloody Murder
03. Someday Soon Baby
04. Hungry Country Girl
05. My Love Depends On You
06. Walkin'
07. It Was A Big Thing
08. Temperature Is Rising (100.2F)
09. Dig You
10. No More Doggin'
11. Ain't Nobody's Business
12. She Needs Some Loving
13. I Need Some Air
14. Someday Baby

Disc: 2
01. No More Doggin'
02. No More Doggin'
03. I Need Some Air
04. Walkin'
05. Walkin'
06. Blues For Hippies
07. Temperature Is Rising (98.8F)
08. Someday Baby
09. Someday Baby
10. Someday Baby
11. She Needs Some Loving
12. Dig You
13. Dig You
14. She's Out Of Sight

Otis Spann (vocals, piano); 
Danny Kirwan, Johnny Shines (guitar); 
Walter Horton (harmonica); 
Willie Dixon (upright bass); 
John McVie (bass guitar); 
Clifton James, Mick Fleetwood, S.P. Leary (drums).


Although Otis Spann will always be known as the piano player in the Muddy Waters Band, his solo work should not be overlooked. Possessing a beautifully expressive voice, Spann was also a facile songwriter, and freed of the restrictions inherent in a working electric blues band, his solo sides find him stretching out on piano as well. This two-disc set is a true treasure, containing a badly needed remixed version of 1969's The Biggest Thing Since Colossus LP plus several alternate takes, false starts, and unreleased songs. The Colossus sessions took place in January 1969 (there are a couple tracks here that date from late in 1968), a little over a year before Spann's death in 1970, and found him working with Blue Horizon label owner Mike Vernon and the Peter Green-era version of Fleetwood Mac (who Vernon managed). Spann is in fine voice here, delivering artful blues numbers that are just this side of jazz in execution, and the Fleetwood Mac boys are surprisingly sympathetic to it, making this a delightful release and one that no real fan of Spann should be without. ---Steve Leggett, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Otis Spann Thu, 29 Oct 2009 16:46:08 +0000