Delbert McClinton

Delbert McClinton

Room To Breathe

New West

Did you ever meet somebody that likes all the same things you do?” Yes, Delbert, I did; and I married her. From this opening line of “Same Kind of Crazy,” I was hooked on Delbert McClinton’s latest album, Room To Breathe. Following up his critically acclaimed and award-winning Nothing Personal was no easy task, but this album of twelve all new tracks delivers the goods.

Rock and roll, blues, rhythm and blues, country, gospel — everyone from disc jockeys to record store clerks has tried to pigeon-hole Delbert into one of these categories. Room To Breathe is a perfect example of how impossible that task is. Songs range from the driving boogie-woogie of “Same Kind of Crazy” to the soulful string accompaniment of “Everything I Know About the Blues (I Learned From You).” A chorus of musical friends, too numerous to list, join in for a “gang song” on “Lone Star Blues” which is the kind of country song you will never hear on modern radio stations that call themselves country. “The Rub” has some of the best horns I’ve heard since the best work done by The Blues Brothers Band in their prime. The lively honky-tonk piano on “Blues About You Baby” reminded me of seeing a great band in a small club.

I have been a fan of Delbert McClinton since Never Been Rocked Enough blew me away, and Room To Breathe has continued the tradition. It has just the right amount of classic sounds to balance the stretches into new directions. If you are a fan of any of the genres I listed in this review, you owe it to yourself to give this album a try. This is a fine collection of music that deserves much more attention than it is likely to receive in the current radio market.

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