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Live From the Apollo!

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The Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York was the host for a great evening celebrating Otis Redding and his legacy.  The sold out show was filled with a group of fans from all over the world who had joined together for this evening dubbed a Night of Respect.

The show had a very diverse lineup of musicians and actors who had been chosen to perform for this great night.  The show started out with a parade consisting of the Preservation Hall Jazz band coming through the crowd and ending up on the stage.  Unfortunately, the emcee slated for hosting the show, Whoopie Goldberg, had fallen ill and was unable to attend the show, but Karla Redding Andrews filled in nicely.  The next act performing were the Dap Kings, who were the house band for the evening.  They were soon joined on stage by Dexter and Otis Redding III, for some very soulful renditions of songs including “That’s How Strong my Love Is”.  Nikka Costa was next to join the stage, with her very powerful voice and great stage presence.  Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones graced the stage for a very powerful “I’ve been Loving you too long”.  If you haven’t seen this man perform, you should go and see this band whenever they are near-by.

Ty Taylor who is a great performer and musician and is the voice of a character on the HBO show, Vinyl, brought us a very soulful performance of “These Arms of Mine”.  Warren Haynes, who is the hardest working man in the industry now was up next and sang three songs, and the latter two he was joined onstage with Marcus King.  You probably recognize Marcus King’s name, since he has played the Capitol and has been touring the south pretty extensively.  These two guitar powerhouses traded licks and really got the crowd excited and into the show.  Other performers included Ruth B, and Jussie Smollett performing some great covers of “My Girl”, and “Cigarettes and Coffee”, respectively.  The next highlight of the show was when Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the MG’s and Steve Cropper of Stax music fame came out and pretty much didn’t leave the stage.  The obvious first choice for their setlist was the famous “Green Onions”.  This song is as good today as it was when it was written.  If you have a chance to see Booker T, I highly recommend taking advantage of that opportunity.

Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child fame, as well as Aloe and Ledisi gave us some very amazing versions of Otis songs.  The Grand finale with most of the musicians who had played earlier in the evening was “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”.  This was a perfect finish to a great evening of music in a very magical and special venue.

by Richie Jones

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