Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © May 2022
The best way to give you an idea of what Outdated Emotion, Delbert McClinton’s twenty-seventh studio album, is all about is to let Delbert tell you himself…..
“I’ve always wanted to do an album of the songs that influenced me the most. Hank Williams songs, Jimmy Reed songs, and songs that I love. And this was the perfect time to do it. It’s important music from another time. It’s music that people need to hear again, or for the first time. Nobody knows about them. Or has forgotten about them. Or was never turned on to them. There is a whole generation, maybe two generations now, who don’t know this music. My whole idea was to show them how it was and how we got here. Hank Williams, Jimmy Reed, Lloyd Price, Ray Charles. These songs take me to my youth. They are good if not better now than the way they were then, and they were great then. They are songs people should just get to hear.”
I couldn’t agree more and fortunately, like Delbert, I also remember and love this music.
Along with the standards from the above artists, the sixteen tracks on Outdated Emotion contain five songs written or co-written by Delbert. For this project, Delbert McClinton – on vocals and harmonica – is joined by: Yates McKendree on drums and upright bass; Kevin McKendree on piano, guitar, drums and bass; Jim Hoke on tenor and baritone saxophones; Robert Bailey, Wendy Moten and Vicki Hampton on background vocals; Delaney McClinton on vocals; Chris Scruggs on guitar and steel guitar; Mark Winchester on upright bass; Jimmy Stewart on flat-top acoustic guitar; Wes L’Anglois on arch-top acoustic guitar; Stuart Duncan on fiddle.
The disc opens with a Lloyd Price smash hit titled “Stagger Lee”, a song with many aliases. What I particularly liked about this, and all the other tracks as well, is that from the vocal presentation, to the instrumentation, right down to the length of the song, they were done exactly like the originals (at least according to my memory). Other than Lloyd himself, not many an ear would notice any differences at all. Needless to say, Delbert and the trio of background vocalists; Yates’ rhythm; Kevin’s piano; and Robert’s saxes; totally nailed it.
One of my all time favorites from back in the day was Jimmy Reed. He may not have been one of the best to ever play the harmonica but for my taste, the sound he created from the high end side of that harmonica was the absolute best. That said, I believe that listening to this rendition would have surely put a smile on Jimmy’s face. Most of the better players out there have done a highly admirable job of emulating this style, as Delbert is doing right here on “The Sun Is Shining”, but matching his vocal sound is a whole other thing. Delbert’s obviously done his homework on this influencer.
Everyone knows how “Long Tall Sally” drove Little Richard so crazy and here she is, all these years later, doing it to Delbert and the guys. With Delbert howling like a teenager, Kevin going totally Jerry Lee on piano while being wildly chased by Jim on the sax, and Yates getting me out of breath from just listening to his frantic rhythm pace, the guys took the ”have some fun tonight’ line in the song to a whole other level. I’d pay to see them do this one live.
“Two Step Too” is an original track that doesn’t sound like one at all, and I’m very sure that as a way of honoring this music, that’s the way Delbert wanted it. When you hear him and Delaney singing the chorus line “I like to listen to rock n’ roll but I like a two step too”, along with Stuart’s fiddlin’, Mark’s thumpin’ the upright bass, Chris’s sliding on the steel, and the dual acoustic pickin’ of Jimmy and Wes, you’ll swear you heard it done by some rockabilly or blue grass band in one honky-tonk or another.
Another great rendition of a Jimmy Reed number is “Ain’t That Lovin’ You”. It features the same very simple trio as “The Sun Is Shining” – Delbert on vocals and harmonica, Yates on drums, Kevin on guitar and just as that song did, it will give you flashbacks of the big boss man himself.
Once again Delbert and Delaney team up for a fabulous duet and the Hank Williams song “Jambalaya”. And just like that, the singin’, the fiddlin, the thumpin, the slidin’ and the pickin’ will transport you to the back porch of a fish camp somewhere in Louisiana.
This original track is titled “Connecticut Blues” and although I don’t see any connection to the disc’s theme, it’s a very cool number. With Delbert sounding more like Harry Connick Jr, and an ensemble resembling the standard three piece jazz back up band of upright bass, drums (Yates) and piano (Kevin), this one’s got a groovy jazz lounge vibe.
“Move It On Over” is another masterful rendition of a Hank Williams song. Once again, just like the original, it features down home foot tappin’ and knee slappin’ rhythm and dynamite tandem lap steel and acoustic guitar work.
“Call Me A Cab”
I gotta go
I can’t sit and listen to this shit anymore
Call me a cab
Hey girl, bring me a check, will ya
Call me a cab please
And there you have it, all 32 words of the 34 second closing original song that features Yates making the stand up bass sound like a drum and Delbert sounding like he could really use a cab.
Other tracks on this very impressive release include: “Settin’ The Woods On Fire” (F. Rose, E. Nelson); “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”
(R. Toombs); “I Want A Little Girl” (B. Moll, M. Mencher); “I Ain’t Got You” (C. Carter); “Hard Hearted Hannah” (J. Yellen, B. Bigelow, C. Bates, M. Ager); and two more originals, “Sweet Talkin’ Man” and “Money Honey”.
To find out more about Delbert McClinton and his newest release – Outdated Emotion – just go to – www.delbert.com . Remember, wherever you go and whoever you contact, please let them know the Blewzzman sent you.
“The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy“
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
P. O. Box 9346
Coral Springs, FL 33075-9346
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient