Sardonic and knowing US comic Rich Hall takes to the stage as Otis Lee Crenshaw, redneck, ex-con country singer in this parodic musical comedy show. Filmed live over two nights at London's Comedy Store, Otis proffers his wisdom on a variety of subjects garnered from a life on the wrong side of the tracks. Otis is accompanied by backing group The Black Liars.
For the satirist, country music has always presented the slowest moving of targets; the genre wears its absurdities on its sleeve, has an appeal which baffles non-adherents and is generally most beloved by people who don't pay money to watch the clever mock things they believe are beneath them. On paper, then, Otis Lee Crenshaw--the creation of American comic Rich Hall--should be about as funny as the Barron Knights in ten-gallon hats.
The reality is that Crenshaw, as evinced by this recording of a performance before a nigh hysterical London audience, is very funny indeed. This is because Hall's satire is grounded, one suspects, in an abiding love of country music and as such is laughing with the music and fans rather than at it; he holds an unmistakable depth of knowledge of its conventions and idioms. In a guttural drawl evocative of what John Hiatt might sound like with a broken jaw, Hall/Crenshaw delivers a series of impeccably observed pastiches, inspired improvisations and, most memorably, a triumphant deconstruction of "Jailhouse Rock". --Andrew Mueller