Otis Lee Crenshaw

· life ·

My masseter muscle is still aching from Sunday night. You see, we went to see Rich Hall (in his Otis Lee Crenshaw persona) at the Playhouse in Oxford, and I laughed so much I pulled something. He came on to the stage, guitar in hand and started strumming. This went on for some time, and everybody was wondering what this gentle sounding song was going to turn into. Eventually, the lyrics came in: "Let's all get together / And kill George Bush". He had us in the palm of his hand from that moment on. His country song parodies all have fantastic and unexpected twists to them. "Drunk" starts sounding like a sweet song, reminiscing about the good times -- "Do you remember nights beneath the Milky Way? / Held you in my arms, Darlin' how we'd sway". But at the end of the verse we get a total turn around -- "Do you remember? / Well I don't / Cause I was drunk!"

Rich/Otis is also fantastic at improvisation, and invented a couple of songs about audience members during the evening. The most memorable one was an epic ballad about a stock broker called Alan heroically intervening to prevent a truck full of stocks and shares hitting a school bus and sending the stock market out of control when the children fail to learn about the value of money. He's a very funny man, but how he doesn't wreck his voice doing Otis' phlegmy rattle is quite beyond me.