The Odd Return of Shuggie Otis


It’ll still be a few days before I post the two lists from 2012, but I’ve just come across an interesting tidbit that may make 2013 musically a lot more interesting, even if D’Angelo’s James River doesn’t make a long-awaited appearance.

While scanning my shelves earlier for things I hadn’t heard in a long time, I spied the 2001 Luaka Bop reissue of the Shuggie Otis album Inspiration Information. So, naturally, I put it on. As it played, I started wondering, as I occasionally do, what Mr. Otis might be doing and specifically whether he has any plans to record or perform. After the briefest of searches, I came across the Web site of Shugiterius Enterprises, LLC, where I found information about how to interview Mr. Otis, notice of the Shuggie Otis Rite’s availability for engagements, a warning that all requests for permission to sample or cover Otis’s music will be denied, and the announcement of a 16 April 2013 reissue of Inspiration Information by Sony with four previously unreleased songs plus a “companion,” unreleased album called Wings of Love. There’s no indication (on that page) whether the latter is newly recorded material, but other sources say the material was recorded at different points between 1975 and 2000. The very prospect of hearing unheard Shuggie Otis makes me smile. I hope the reality’s even better. (And in case you’re wondering whether this is a hoax, click here to pre-order the album and here to find out whether he’s coming to your town soon).