Clay, Otis – I Can't Take It – New LP
"The shadows of both Al Green and Ann Peebles looming large over Hi, the record label's second league will always remain criminally overlooked. Being second to a soul superstar and a critics' favorite isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, as quality control at the label was always on a high level. A case in point is the sampler of sorts Al Bennett released on his own Cream imprint after buying the Hi catalog from Willy Mitchell in 1977. Titled A History of Soul, the double album contained strong single releases and non-album tracks by Hi second-leaguers O.V. Wright, Syl Johnson, and Otis Clay. The latter's appearance proved most promising, as both 1973's "I Didn't Know the Meaning of Pain" and "The Woman Don't Live Here No More" from 1974 indicated the promise of a rewarding follow-up to his 1972 debut album, Trying to Live My Life Without You. However, these songs weren't included on Clay's follow-up, I Can't Take It. Instead, his final Hi album reprises "Home Is Where the Heart Is," his first ever recording for the label. It quite possibly served as a means of reacquainting the public with Otis Clay, since a five-year hiatus separated his lone two albums for Hi. During this period he kept himself busy with his own label. Apart from "Slow and Easy," the album was comprised of leftover sessions from 1972. Still, I Can't Take It fares strongly in opener "Pussyfootin' Around," the scorching ballad "House Ain't a Home (Without a Woman)," and the gut-wrenching title track. As always, the Hi house band does an ace job.
Born on 11th February 1942 in Waxhaw, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Died on 8th January 2016, U.S.A.
He moved to Chicago to start his career, where he started singing in gospel groups. In 1965 he was signed at One-derful. When this label folded, in 1968 he moved at Atlantic's Cotillion and in 1971 at Hi Records. He kept on recording all through the 70's and 80's at various labels. He was one of the 2013 inductees to the Blues Hall Of Fame.