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Walking the Blues

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Released two years after Otis Spann’s death, 1972’s Walking the Blues features sides that date back to 1960. Taking a break from his day job in Muddy Waters’ band, the pianist proves equally gifted as singer and songwriter. The originals “It Must Have Been the Devil” and “Half Ain’t Been Told” highlight the contrast between big, powerful keys and deep, haunted vocals that define his inimitable style. Guitarist and Robert Johnson protégé Robert Lockwood, Jr., fills in the cracks with spare, oftentimes jazzy licks.


Born: 21 March 1930 in Jackson, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s

An integral member of the nonpareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and '60s, pianist Otis Spann took his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now Chicago's leading post-war blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters' classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters' seminal 1960 live version of "Got My Mojo...
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Walking the Blues, Otis Spann
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