by Thomas Michalski
14 video clips of raw power with the ultimate soul-punk backed up by tightness from The Bar Kays, The Mar Keys and Booker T. & The MGs. Also includes his Monterey '67 concert.
Watching an Otis Redding performance is like witnessing a force of nature, as if he’s channeling directly that very powerful, ineffable thing that gives soul music its name. The voice that pours out of him doesn’t describe an emotion, it is an emotion, a raw transference of yearning loneliness or excited passion, whatever the song calls for. It’s so organic, so unfettered, like a man possessed, that it hides another aspect of Redding’s live show, which is that a lot of thought and preparation and work went into it. It’s not contrived by any means, the feeling in he brought to the stage is 100% real, it’s palpable in every breath and every jerky movement, but it took years of consciously honing his craft to be able translate it to an audience in a way that they could understand.
Like so many of his peers, Redding’s first experience with singing and playing music came from the church, specifically the Vineville Baptist church, where his father was a preacher. He sang in the choir and a gospel quartet as a teenager, but not all of his influences were so clean cut growing up in a rough-and-tumble