Willie Clayton, Otis Clay, Latimore, Nellie “Tiger” Travis | Genesis Convention Center | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader

Willie Clayton, Otis Clay, Latimore, Nellie “Tiger” Travis Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., Nov. 28, 8 p.m. 2015

Willie Clayton’s recordings are characterized by a fusion of old-school soul grit and modernist studio techniques (even his synthesized horn tracks sound natural), while his onstage persona—vulnerable, cocky, and ironic in turn—likewise combines the best of the church-honed soul tradition with an aggressive emotional bluntness that invokes hip-hop and contemporary R&B. His latest CD, Heart and Soul (Endzone), finds him navigating a wide-ranging emotional spectrum, from steamy boudoir anthems (“Slow Good”) and heart-on-sleeve pleadings (“Please Don’t Leave Me”) to blues-tinged celebrations of all-night juking (“Let’s Dance”) and lovemaking (“Come on Rock Me”). The highlight, though, may be “Your Man Is Home Tonight,” on which Clayton’s quivering, choked delivery bespeaks an almost unbearable erotic tension—here making love to one’s own spouse sounds sexier than any hookup or back-door booty call.

David Whiteis

Price: $50

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