Delbert McClinton

Ray Mikell
Thu Jul 17 02:45:16 EDT 1997

>Rex -- I LOVE Delbert McClinton's music! But he's usually not a topic on
>the Blues-L because he's not really a "Bluesman" (and I don't think he
>would classify himself as such).  He can definitely sing the blues, and
>a lot of his material is bluesy, but a lot of the black influence in his
>material is as much SOUL and R&B as it is blues strictly speaking --
>plus he is a Rock/Pop artist (I like to think of his music as
>"Rock'n'Roll for Grownups") with some country and gospel feel to it as

  Yes, Delbert is sounding fantabulous these days, as you noted, to your
credit. But heck, I've seen B.B. King nine times and I coulda swore I was
watching an R&B show. Also watched Wilson Pickett's band open with "Rock Me
Baby" and some brain-frying numbers on which they mixed blues guitar and
Larry Graham-type bass and another cat who took the bass riff straight out
of "Play That Funky Music, White Boy." Lotsa quote-unquote blues people were
actually songsters who also did pop songs of the day. Yeah, he does rock too
and roadhouse country soul, BUT when I saw him on "Austin City Limits"
recently what I heard was a flat-out exhausting, mostly high-energy blues
show. Something like a 20-piece band, with something like three people
including Lee Roy Parnell playing blues guitar, former Double Trouble
pianist Reese Wynans on piano and the requisite horn line. Yeah, it was
countrified, but gosh those forms can be and often are so very similar. I
dunno -- I called it deep southern music that leaned more toward the blues
end than the country one. But if you make too many distictions, you stop
enjoying yourself and the music.
  Sometimes it's all coming from so many directions you just gotta sit back
and soak it all in. Example: William Sakovich mentioned the Muscle Shoals
player. How do you categorize "I'll Take You There." It's black gospel on
the vocals, less you wanna count some scatty-type singing at points from
Mavis, with reggae-inspired drums (only with drums on two and four) and an
intro taken straight off some obscure reggae record, and includes a blues
harmonica section, some blues guitar (not played by Pops, by the way, but
Eddie Hinton) and pop elements.
  I understand why you say he doesn't get discussed here, but he certainly
doesn't deserve exclusion, and is an especially interesting topic on what
today was Max debate/slander-l.

"For God's sake let's have a little more freakish behavior -- not less."
  -- Tennessee Williams, 1945

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