Thursday, June 20, 2013

REVIEW: Delbert & Glen - Blind, Crippled and Crazy

"I ain't old, I just been around a long time" goes the joyous refrain to the opening track on Blind, Crippled & Crazy. It's the first duet recording between Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark since 1973's Delbert & Glen. And that IS a long time - 40 years! - but you wouldn't know it from the way these two play and sing together. This isn't one of those reunion tours for the money, as you would be hard-pressed to find many folks who remember those albums. This is a reunion for the joy of making music together, and it is a rousing success.

Here is a video of the pair, performing the lead track on Imus back in the fall:

Follow this link to check out the rollicking "Oughta No" - Delbert and Glen sing in harmony, and the guitars rock like a freight train, with some driving piano underneath it. Actually, you can (and should) listen to the whole thing at McClinton's website (link below).

From the Little Feat-style shuffling groove of "I Ain't Old" through the haunting, almost snarling guitars on "World of Hurt", and on just about every song here, the guitars, rhythm section and pianos mesh together perfectly. This record has an abundance of assured, technically strong but very heartfelt playing and singing, and there really isn't a weak cut on it. If you like Texas music, or any R&B or blues-based rock (say, The Meters, for example), it's a good bet you will enjoy this.

McClinton has certainly had the higher profile (including Top 40 hits like "Giving It Up For Your Love"), but Clark, whose voice is a perfect counterpoint to Delbert's, has spent the last 40 years as one of those great Texas troubadours who just kind of blends in. After he and McClinton moved on to their own careers, Clark moved from Texas to LA and has had an impressive career as a songwriter and keyboard player (including playing in one iteration of the Blues Brothers Band). During that time the pair, who started out together playing in bar bands in Ft. Worth, have never lost touch and, fortunately for us, they celebrated the 40th anniversary of their second album by getting together with McClinton's songwriting partner Gary Nicholson in Nashville to record this thing. Again, it's feel-good music, just pure joy.

The record is out this week (June 18) on New West Records.

Delbert McClinton Website

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