Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday and Saturday To-Do: Otis

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Otis plays at Cajuns Wharf Friday and Saturday.
  • Otis plays at Cajun's Wharf Friday and Saturday.

OTIS
9 p.m. Cajun's Wharf. $5.

Chicago septet Otis traffics in the type of retro R&B and funk sounds pioneered by such revivalists as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

Otis's sound, though, isn't quite as consistently gritty as those outfits. You'll hear jazzy flourishes and subtle, lounge-y sounding keys alongside the Stax-informed soul workouts. The band is fronted by Jessica Ott, a native of Little Rock whose singing is clear and strong when it needs to be, sultry and smoky when called for.

The band is tight and should sound road-tested and ready. They're playing a string of dates across Arkansas and Missouri over the next 10 days, including shows at Kingfish and Tanglewood Branch Beer Co. in Fayetteville on Aug. 16 and 20, respectively, at Webby D's in Fort Smith on Aug. 19 and at Squid and Whale in Eureka Springs on Aug. 22.

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