Few musicians have ever gotten my immediate attention with the first song, chord, or verse. It happened once when Francesco Franco and I went to lunch. He insisted I listen to a new band and popped a CD into the car stereo. With the first song, it had my attention. After song two and three, the quality and entertainment did not let up. Â Whoever was performing could write and perform great music, and back it up with some mean guitar. The band wasÂ The White Stripes. The singer/songwriter/guitarist wasÂ Jack White, a native of Detroit, Michigan.
Two years ago, another Detroit native did the same thing.Â Sista Otis and the Wholly Rollers played the 2008 Pride Fest in Lansingâ€™s Adado Park. Â From the first note on stage, she ignited an enthusiastic crowd with a high-energy show. It was a revelation. She was a powerful indie rock-folk-gospel-soul revival all rolled into one. I bought a couple of her CDs that day and have since gone into long stretches of listening to her music exclusively in the car, a stretch of which I am in again lately after seeing Sista Otis at this yearâ€™s 2010 Pride Festival.
The good news is Sista Otis has been touring a lot lately, including a number of locations in Michigan. She just released her new single â€œCharmedâ€ in the national market. The â€œCharmedâ€ video below was just released as well. It is quintessential Otis. Â In a double extra bonus, Sista Otis is playing my hometown, Lansing, Michigan, this Friday evening (August 20, 2010) atÂ The Chrome Cat, 226 E. Grand River inÂ Old Town. Â The event promotion on Facebook says $5 cover at 9 p.m. and Sista Otis performing at 10:30 p.m.
Itâ€™s not easy carrying the legacy of Detroit pop music scene, but Jack White has made us proud and now Sista Otis has come along to be a new generationâ€™s Sista Soul. Â If youâ€™re in mid-Michigan this Friday, donâ€™t miss the opportunity to see Sista Otisâ€™s live performance. Youâ€™ll be charmed â€” I guarantee it.
â€“ Rico Thomas Rico