and everyone else who recommended I investigate Otis Redding,
soul-man extraordinaire. I picked up a best-of compilation for next-to-nothing, and boy am I glad. Of course "(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay" is the classic I'd heard it was, but truly every track is a winner.
My favourite right now "Cigarettes & Coffee", a mournful blues ballad that is lovingly produced, with shimmering guitar, tinkling piano and solemn horns. Otis hollers and moans throughout the whole track, and I can't think of another singer who could pull it off so convincingly - he's got the most emotive, compelling voice! What's interesting is that the melismatic-like tremors and trembles in his voice are quite similar to that of current R&B singers, only where now the emphasis is on ultra-smoothness, Otis' voice has a compelling roughness to it that is instantly identifiable.
Of course, it's kinda scary that I when I heard "Love Man" and "These Arms Of Mine" (both standouts), the first thing I thought of was Dirty Dancing. The generation gap is large, my friends.