Saturday, June 29, at the Grand Emporium.

Otis Clay 

Saturday, June 29, at the Grand Emporium.

Otis Clay burns so brightly that it's impossible to turn away from his shine. Immaculately dressed, his smile welcoming every person in the room, Clay rivets an audience even when he's simply patting down his soaking-wet brow between songs. Like Sam Cooke, Clay developed his voice and stage charisma at church, and he mixes generous helpings of gospel into his show. But Clay can also push into the first bars of a secular love song like "Precious Precious" and cause the entire crowd to fall silent. Then, in a few minutes, everyone starts singing with Clay's blessing. And when an Otis Clay crowd sings, it sounds gooooood. Not as good as Clay, though, whose shows are a throwback to days when an R&B show was an event, something that involved buying new shoes, getting a suit pressed or having hair done. It's one of the few places where all that effort seems worth it.

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