King of Soul-Acoustic Otis Redding
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King of Soul-Acoustic Otis Redding

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Blues World




"Carlo Basile melds Spanish Guitar, Stax Records with Otis Redding Tribute"

“I was in Memphis recently and took my wife to all the museums and attractions down there,” Carlo Basile said over lunch last week. “We visited Sun Studios and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and my wife, who considers herself pretty knowledgeable about music, didn’t realize Memphis’ place in American music history.”
Basile, best known as the force behind the local flamenco group Las Guitarras De Espana, was discussing his current project “King of Soul—The Music of Otis Redding,” an interpretation of songs popularized by the legendary soul shouter set to Spanish guitar and rhythms. Basile conceived the project as a tribute to Redding (the singer who helped put Stax on the map) and the Stax Records house band.
“That house band was an interracial house band in the South during the 1960s, which was unheard of at the time. And they drew from a variety of sources: country; blues; rock; gospel.” Along with the FAME Records house band in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Stax stood as an anomaly in popular music at the time with black and white musicians working together.
“Sure, everyone knows about Sun Records and Elvis Presley but Memphis music was so much more.”
Basile told Chicagoist he had been knocking around the idea of arranging some of Redding’s songs for Spanish guitar with his friend, soul singer Gerald McClendon. “During my travels to Spain I would go to clubs and the emcee would announce every act hitting the stage as the most explosive singer or greatest act ever. That reminded me of the hyping that happens in Chicago blues clubs. In the seedier clubs you have the emcee in the cheap suit doing the same thing. The difference was that everyone in the local blues clubs can sing.”
“There are a lot of parallels in the vibe between the musical styles,” Basile added. “Having accompanied flamenco singers over the years, I realized they share similar phrasings with soul singers. As Gerald and I began exploring this more I discovered other parallels between Spanish guitar melodies and the chords to songs like ‘Try a Little Tenderness.’ I would ask Gerald to sing the song like a gospel singer but I could accompany him like a flamenco guitarist. The fit was perfect.” - Chicagoist: Chuck Sudo


Still working on that hot first release.



Many of the great "rhythm and blues" clubs on the Southside of Chicago are a thing of the past...but there are still a few places that feature true "soul" music. And you might think it's a long way from the streets of Chicago to the flamenco clubs and peas in the winding streets of Sevilla or Jerez, Spain. But it turns out that those places have some things in commonThese are establishments were true aficionados come to appreciate the local art form with all of it's rich traditions. People also come to have fun and there is usually an "overly dramatic" MC to announce the performers. Finally, and most importantly, in both places, it's really all about the singers (or in flamenco, the "cantaors") telling a story with emotion, vibrato, skillful phrasing and at times, pure abandon. The expressiveness present in American soul and Spanish flamenco singing is undeniable. Otis Redding was often called the "King of Soul." The story of Otis Redding began on September 9th, 1941 where he was born in Dawson, Georgia. Between then and the time of his tragic death--- just 26 years later, Otis Redding wrote some of the most memorable and enduring Soul/R&B songs ever recorded. It therefore seems fitting to present some of his amazing catalog with a Spanish guitar accompaniment and some new arrangements featuring the rhythms of Andalusia. 

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