Billboard -- Beloved soul shut-in Shuggie Otis is releasing his first new music since his innovative 1974 album "Inspiration Information." Produced by Otis himself, the double set "Inspiration Information/Wings of Love" arrives April 16 on Epic/Legacy.
The first CD is comprised of the original album plus four previously unreleased songs recorded in 1971; the second half, "Wings of Love," will contain 15 unreleased live and studio songs recorded between 1975 and 2000.
Among the new songs include "Tryin' To Get Close to You," which employs the same metronome effect Otis uses on "Inspiration" classic "Aht Uh Mi Hed," and the album also includes the epic 11-1/2 minute title track "Wings of Love" which British journalist Chris Campion says has a minimalist melody that "circles, builds, takes off, soars and flies."
The singer will continue his "Shuggie Otis Rite Tour," which began with European dates in November. He'll play New York City's Highline ballroom on Jan. 10 and then dates in Mexico City, Australia and Japan before returning to North America for a brief run in April.
Perhaps best known for penning the Brothers Johnson hit "Strawberry Letter 23," which topped the Billboard R&B chart in 1977, Otis released only three solo albums between 1969 and 1974 before dropping out of sight. The son of R&B icon Johnny Otis, he famously turned down an offer to join the Rolling Stones as a touring member.
"Inspiration Information" is highly regarded as a psychedelic soul masterpiece, but failed to chart well upon its 1974 release. The album gained a new generation of followers when it was re-released to much hype in 2001.
Shuggie Otis Rite Tour Dates
1/10: New York City (Highline Ballroom) 2/23: Mexico City ( El Plaza Condesa) 3/23: Sydney, Australia (The Enmore) 3/24: Melbourne, Australia (Hamer Hall) 3/26: Brisbane, Australia (The Tivoli Theatre) 3/28-29: Byron Bay, Australia (Bluesfest) 3/31-4/1: Tokyo (Billboard Live Tokyo) 4/14: Toronto (Phoenix Concert Theatre) 4/17: Chicago (Lincoln Hall) 4/18: New York City (BB King's Blues Club and Grill) 4/21: Washington, DC (The Howard Theatre) 4/23-24: Seattle (The Triple Door) 4/26: San Francisco (Mezzanine)
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Find more online: Billboard.com