Shuggie Otis will be releasing a new album titled Inter-Fusion. Recorded with a monster rhythm section comprised of veteran rockers Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart) on drums and bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm, Roy Harper, Kenny Wayne Shepherd), the album was produced by keyboardist Kyle Hamood of L.A. rockers Them Guns. Inter-Fusion will be available on CD, vinyl, and as a digital download.
Shuggie Otis, of course, is the brilliant singer, songwriter, and guitarist who created such magical musical moments as “Strawberry Letter 23” and “Inspiration Information.” Shuggie honed his chops playing with his legendary father Johnny Otis’s band during the ‘60s, and had his official “coming out party” with the 1969 release of Al Kooper’s Kooper Session album, which featured Otis’s stellar guitar playing. He subsequently recorded a trio of albums for Epic Records, including 1974’s landmark classic Inspiration Information. After appearing on his father’s 1981 album The New Johnny Otis Show, Shuggie all but disappeared from the frenzied rock music scene. He was still writing and recording music, but he was also raising a family and seemed to be in no hurry to undergo the sort of roadwork necessary to sustain a career.
Otis reappeared in 2013 to promote an expanded reissue of Inspiration Information, touring with his sons Eric and Nick and recording a live album, Live In Williamsburg, which was released in 2014. Inter-Fusion is Otis’s first album of new material in over 40 years, a mostly instrumental collection that features his skilled fretwork on what is being called a “fusion rock” project (a mix of funk, blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll). In a press release for the new album, Carmine Appice says “this was one of the wildest sessions I’ve ever done in my career!” while Tony Franklin adds “Shuggie loved to jam, and was very open to everyone’s input. He was not afraid to experiment and try new directions and sounds. I think the music sounds very fresh and alive.”
Producer Hamood offers his perspective, saying “watching the songs come together over such a short period of time, and the diversity that each band member brought to the overall sound and vibe was truly magical. It was an honor to work and create with such a talented group of musicians.” You can check out the promotional video embedded below for a taste of things to come. Heck, I’d walk across the street anytime to hear Shuggie play guitar, so I’ve already ordered my copy of the CD and you can get one yourself from Amazon.com.
Also on That Devil Music.com: Shuggie Otis - Live In Williamsburg CD review