Delbert McClinton & Glen Clark
Blind, Crippled and Crazy
New West Records
I first heard of Delbert McClinton when Never Been Rocked Enough was released. I’ve loved his music ever since. I’ve known of Glen Clark as a songwriter and composer since the late ’90s and, of course, from his work with later incarnations of the Blues Brothers. However, I never knew that they had released two albums together back in the ’70s, until I read the press for Blind, Crippled and Crazy. Hearing how well the two of them mesh as soon as the music fires up doesn’t come as a surprise.
In fact, there aren’t many surprises here, not that that’s a bad thing. No one is trying to reinvent the wheel. They are just delivering classic hard-driving honky tonk rhythm and blues. Songs vary in topic from aging and still making mistakes (“Been Around a Long Time”) to classic tales of heartache (“Somebody to Love You”). The two take turns on vocals, with Delbert’s grit balancing Glen’s higher register, and when they harmonize (“Sure Feels Good”) it’s like two expert fencers parrying off one another.
The vocal stylings wouldn’t mean much without a solid musical foundation, and they have it here in spades. Delbert shines on guitar and harmonica, of course. Bob Britt accompanies on electric and slide guitars. Surprisingly, Glen hands the keyboard duties over to Bruce Katz and Kevin McKendree, and they light the studio on fire, both on piano and organ. All of this is grounded by a solid rhythm section in Mike Joyce (bass), Tom Hambridge (drums), Jack Bruno (drums), and Kenny Malone (percussion).
Putting on this album is like stepping into a Texas roadhouse. You can almost feel the sawdust under your feet as two old friends take you on a trip. If you are familiar with Delbert McClinton, you know what you are getting here. If not, take a chance on Delbert & Glen and you might be introduced to two new friends with a wealth of musical history you can explore. I know I am off to find those first two collaborations they did right now.
Delbert McClinton & Friends: delbert.com