Otis Waygood Blues Band – Otis Waygood Blues Band (1969) re-release 2000

Otis Waygood was a blues band in the 1960s in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). The original members were Benny Miller, Rob Zipper, Alan Zipper, Leigh Sagar, Angus McLean and Billy Toon.

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In November 1969, Rob & Alan Zipper, Ivor Rubenstein and Leigh Sagar travelled to Cape Town in South Africa, with all of their gear, for a playing holiday.

They were invited to play at the Battle of the Bands at Green Point Stadium and were extremely well received. This led to an invitation to a residency in a Johannesburg club and then to their being signed up by the Clive CalderRalph Simon management team who produced the group’s first album in two days. They had a recording contract with EMI and undertook three national tours, playing at city halls in almost every city in South Africa, Rhodesia and Mozambique.

Singer and flautist, Martin Jackson, had a brief spell in the line-up during this period but left in November 1970 and was replaced by Harry Paulus. Bennie Miller, the guitarist from Salisbury (now Harare), originated the group but left in 1969 when the band went to South Africa. He rejoined briefly at the end of 1970 and mid 1972.

Otis Waygood’s blues-jazz fusion made them one of the top live bands in South Africa of the early ’70s touring South Africa and Rhodesia. In 1971 the group traveled to play in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, where they settled. In 1976, they added three Caribbean musicians to their line-up and pursued a more reggae-based sound. After several years of playing the British clubs, pubs and concert halls as Otis Waygood, in 1977 they changed their name to Immigrant and their final tour was supporting Tavares, ending up at the Palladium, in London. The group disbanded in 1979

The band name originated from a transposition of the name appearing on a number of lifts installed in Rhodesian buildings by Waygood Otis elevators. Waygood & Co. (later R Waygood & Co. and Waygood Otis) was a UK- based elevator company which was merged with Otis.

Excellent album from one of South Africa’s best kept secrets, this is slow acid blues with amazing fuzz guitars and gentle passages with flute playing to die for. Long extended jams on certain tracks get heavier and heavier much like the way Grand Funk built on slower tracks like ‘I’m Your Captain’. Co-incidently the album was produced by Clive Calder who also played keyboards with the band after working with said band.

Tracks 1-9 are from the self titled debut while 10-12 are from the dark 1971 album ‘Ten Light Claps and a Scream’.

1.  You’re Late Miss Kate  (Deefore/Hitzfield)  [2.08]
2.  Watch an’ Chain  (Trad arr. R Zipper/A Zipper/ M Jackson/I Rubenstein/L Sager)  [4.33]
3.  So Many Ways  (R Zipper)  [3.48]
4.  I Can’t Keep From Crying  (Blind Willie Johnson)  [6.03]
5.  Fever  (Davenport/Cooley)  [4.21]
6.  Wee Wee Baby  (Trad arr. R Zipper/A Zipper/ M Jackson/I Rubenstein/L Sager)  [2.50]
7.  Better Off On My Own  (R Zipper/A Zipper)  [2.59]
8.  Help Me  (Willie Dixon/Ralph Bass)  [5.01]
9.  I’m Happy  (R Zipper)  [2.42]

Bonus tracks on CD re-issue (from Ten Light Claps And A Scream):
10. Devil Bones  (Otis Waygood/Harry Poulos)  [3.15]
11. You Can Do (part 1)  (Otis Waygood)  [4.20]
12. You Can Do (part 2)  (Otis Waygood)  [4.30]

Musicians

  • Rob Zipper: Vocals, guitars, saxophones
  • Ivor Rubenstein: Vocals, percussion
  • Leigh Sagar: Guitars, organ
  • Martin Jackson: Vocals, flute
  • Alan Zipper: BassA Clive Calder production
    Engineered by Leo Lagerway

Notes

Re-release:  2000
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock
Length: 46:30

Label – Fresh Music

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