Brent Porche

Brent Porche

Two months after Redding’s death via plane crash, we received this stellar album.  And that title track?  Simply a classic!

55 years ago today, the first of many posthumously released albums from Otis Redding was released, his seventh studio album ‘The Dock of the Bay’ via Volt/Atco records. The LP contains several tunes dating back to 1965, including one of his best-known songs, the posthumous hit “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”. Otis finished recording the album two days before his death in a plane crash on December 10th, 1967. Since its release, Rolling Stone added ‘The Dock of the Bay’ to their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

There have been quite a few covers of “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” over the years including versions from Sammy Hagar and also Michael Bolton. Another version that is near and dear to my heart is the Smith & Myers version that appears on their very first album together the ‘Acoustic Sessions’. On the double EP, Brent & Zach cover everyone from The Clash (“London Calling”) to Metallica (“Nothing Else Matters”) to Adele (“Someone Like You”). A cool element that Brent & Zach included with this project was filming videos for every single song… including “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay! (I’ve included the videos for you to check out below.)

Hearing Brent belt out “Dock of the Bay”, sent me in the way-back-machine to 2007. I was in Orlando, Florida visiting a friend, when I heard on the radio that Brent Smith from Shinedown was going to be performing an impromptu solo show at the Back Booth Bar in downtown Orlando… THAT NIGHT! I raced back to my friend’s house and hopped on the interwebs and popped up Mapquest to get directions to this bar. We didn’t have Google maps or the Waze app back then, it was either Mapquest or an actual map!

Rolling solo to the gig and not really knowing what to expect, I went with an open mind and a ton of excitement for what was to be! And what was, was an incredible, extremely stripped down, six song performance by Brent and producer/musician Tony Battaglia. Tony was responsible for producing the first two Shinedown records ‘Leave a Whisper’ and ‘Us & Them’. The set featured hits like “45”, “Simple Man”, “Shed Some Light”, “Burning Bright”, “Save Me” and yes, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”.

Special shout out to Edward Rodriguez for recording this entire show! Again, this was 2007, so not all cell phones had decent recording capabilities, mine certainly didn’t. However, if you look carefully, you’ll see me in almost all the videos! I was the one standing to the left of Edward as he recorded the show, with the sideburns, earrings, glasses… and short spikey hair!
The raw power and range of Brent’s voice really shines brightly in these over decade-and-a-half old, scratchy cell phone videos included below! Enjoy! -bp

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