Otis Clay, Ruby Andrews, Garland Green, Stan Mosley, Deacon Reuben Burton & the Victory Travelers, Sherman "Moody" Thomas, Theo Huff, Tariq Griffin | Harold Washington Cultural Center | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader

Otis Clay, Ruby Andrews, Garland Green, Stan Mosley, Deacon Reuben Burton & the Victory Travelers, Sherman "Moody" Thomas, Theo Huff, Tariq Griffin All Ages Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 26, 7 p.m. 2009

It’s a mystery why Otis Clay hasn’t enjoyed the kind of late-career renaissance that has landed his contemporaries Solomon Burke, Al Green, and Bettye LaVette back in the spotlight. A major figure on Chicago’s thriving soul scene in the 60s, in the 70s he recorded several classic sides for the Hi label in Memphis, including “Trying to Live My Life Without You” and “If I Could Reach Out.” Though he hasn’t charted since late in that decade, he’s remained popular here and on the southern soul circuit, and in the world of gospel he’s best known for his distinctive version of “When the Gates Swing Open,” which has become a modern-day standard. Though he’s 67, Clay’s voice has lost none of its potency: grainy and taut, it combines churchy transcendence with tough worldliness, embodying the blend of fervor, grit, and sophistication particular to soul blues. This show is a benefit to help defray the medical expenses of vocalists Cicero Blake and Artie “Blues Boy” White; Blake is recovering from surgery to his leg, and White has been in poor health for a few years, suffering from at least one stroke. The evening’s bill, headliner first, is Clay, fellow Chicago soul legends Ruby Andrews and Garland Green, Stan Mosley, Deacon Reuben Burton & the Victory Travelers, Sherman “Moody” Thomas, the up-and-coming Theo Huff, and Tariq Griffin. —David Whiteis

Price: $25

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