The Otis Redding Foundation put together quite a jamboree Thursday night at the Apollo Theater in honor of Otis Redding. Officially titled “An Evening of Respect: Celebrating Otis Redding & 50 Years of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay””
The evening started with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band marching down the aisle from the rear of the theater New Orleans style. They played “Amen” and “This Little Light of Mine” before Otis’ daughter Karla Redding took the stage. She spoke about her father and the Otis Redding foundation and also informed us all that the scheduled host, Whoopi Goldberg was sick with the flu and would not be joining us.
Karla wasn’t the only Redding in the house. The crowd was full of family members that made the trek up from Macon, Georgia. Otis Redding III and Dexter Redding as well as nephew Mark Lockett joined the Dap Kings on stage for songs like “Soul Finger,” “Knock on Wood,” “That’s How Strong My Love Is” and “Shake.” Nikka Costa then sang an amazingly soulful version of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Next to join the Dap Kings was Paul Janeway of St. Paul & the Broken Bones. They covered “Down In The Valley” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Ty Taylor, lead singer of Vintage Trouble sang “These Arms of Mine” before Warren Haynes and Marcus King ripped through their takes on “Hard To Handle,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose.”
Otis Redding Foundation member re-introduced The Preservation Hall Jazz Band who returned to the stage to back the remarkable Ruth B for “Pain in My Heart” and a cover of the Temptations’ “My Girl.”
The Dap Kings returned, joined again by Dexter and Otis Redding III for “The Happy Song.” Also helping out on vocals of “Cigarettes and Coffee” was Empire star Jussie Smollett. Legends, guitarist Steve Cropper and keyboardist Booker T. Jones, then jammed on a couple Booker T. & The MG’s tunes, “Green Onions” and “Hip Hug-Her.”
The Apollo was about to get emotional with Michelle Williams’ interpretation of “A Change is Gonna Come” and Aloe Blacc’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” and “Try a Little Tenderness” as well as Ledisi’s “Respect” cover.
The evening ended with all (most) of the performers joining the stage for a truly grand finale of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.”
Article: Michael DiGiovanni