Little Scotty | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Little Scotty

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Clarence "Little Scotty" Scott has spent most of his life straddling the worlds of blues, gospel, and R & B. Born in 1945, he was severely disfigured by a fire in his home in Florence, South Carolina, when he was a teenager; afterward he found refuge in church as well as in local juke joints, fighting through his self-consciousness by sitting in on vocals whenever bands let him. During the mid-60s he was in New York City, where he performed at R & B clubs, garnered a "Certificate to Preach" from a Brooklyn Baptist church, and--he claims--pimped at a Midtown massage parlor. He recorded a handful of singles and EPs for east-coast labels during the 70s, and by the early 80s he was in Chicago, where he's since released most of his music on his own Top of the World imprint; his most recent, recorded as Evangelist C. Scott, is God's Got the Last Word (Style). Regardless of where he performs, Little Scotty comports himself as if it were showtime at the old Regal Theater: in gold chains and natty hipster finery, he deploys his arsenal of soul and gospel mannerisms--thick vibrato, guttural gasps, octave slurs, rich chuckles--on everything from double entendre-laden blues to fervid, half-sung-half-preached sermons about racial solidarity and community uplift. He'll be backed by Howard Scott (no relation) & the World Band. Saturday 30, 10 PM, Rosa's Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage, 773-342-0452, $12.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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