Since his career began in the 1950's Delbert McClinton has seemed to defy classification in any one musical category. Listening to a Delbert McClinton CD tends to be a musical thrill ride ranging from straight ahead country, blues, soul and on to good old rock n' roll. Over the same period, McClinton has become a respected singer and a musical icon that could very well end up in any number of music halls of fame. McClinton's latest release, Room To Breathe, is his second for New West Records and stands among his best releases to date. As with many of his previous recordings, along with his last record Nothing Personal, Room To Breathe again demonstrates McClinton's artistic versatility (both as a singer and songwriter) in a number of musical styles. Every one of the twelve songs on the CD are written or co-written by McClinton.
Room To Breathe opens strong with a song entitled "Same Kind of Crazy" written by McClinton and Gary Nicholson. "Same Kind of Crazy" is Delbert McClinton singing some powerhouse rock n' roll in a song about a man and a woman who have literally everything in common. The song includes a nice organ solo by Kevin McKendrie and harp fills by Delbert. The following song, "Smooth Talk," is about a TV evangelist who smooth talks people into apparent salvation and out of their hard earned cash.
On "Jungle Room," the CD takes on a more bluesy, funky feeling as Delbert growls his way through this slow grinding song with some nice horn backed rhythms. The blues feeling of the CD continues on the next song, "Everything I Know About the Blues," one of my favorite songs on Room To Breathe. The slow blues of "Everything I Know" is followed by the country blues, honky tonk sound of "Blues About You Baby," full of honky tonk piano and a nice guitar break by Todd Sharp.
On "Lone Star Blues" the CD makes a definite move to a hard edged country sound complete with fiddle and steel guitar. On "The Rub," Delbert puts together a catchy talking blues about what appears to be a small time crook and someone who seems to be a bounty hunter. Skipping to "Don't Want To Love You," Delbert crafts and sings an emotional ballad perfectly suited for his vocal style.
As Room To Breathe works its way down the homestretch, McClinton and band break into the Louisiana sound of "Ain't Lost Nothin'" a song that is very much like something that would be performed by Dr. John or Marcia Ball. The Louisiana feeling is maintained on "Money Honey," another piano rich tune. The CD finishes with a nice horn-based Memphis-blues called "New York City," representing a tribute to the City after surviving the horrors of September 11. The song provides an upbeat finish to an excellent recording.
After over 40 years on the music scene, Delbert McClinton is still able to construct a fresh, exciting recording. To learn more about this musical icon and to pick up a copy of Room To Breathe or other Delbert McClinton recordings visit Delbert's website at www.delbert.com or New West Records at www.newwestrecords.com.
New West Records, LLC.
P.O. Box 4700, Austin, Texas 78765
Web: www.newwestrecords.com or www.delbert.com
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
This review is copyright © 2002 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
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