Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Room to Breathe
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
When Delbert McClinton announces with his latest album that he has Room To Breathe, he sure ain't kidding. After more than four decades of making music, McClinton is breathing freely with the confidence and energy of an ar... more »
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When Delbert McClinton announces with his latest album that he has Room To Breathe, he sure ain't kidding. After more than four decades of making music, McClinton is breathing freely with the confidence and energy of an artist who knows that he has mastered his game. Still basking in the glow of a new Grammy(r) Award, he has followed up what The Wall Street Journal declared his "best recording ever" -- 2001's Nothing Personal -- with a set that displays even greater muscle, smarts, charm and soul.
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Beardo | West Des Moines, IA USA | 11/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After watching Delbert's career careen crazily through the decades since my first taste in the 70's, it is great to see him finally getting his due with his last Grammy winning CD, Nothing Personal, and his next Grammy winner (trust me), Room To Breathe. Crossing musical borders, with the frequency of a tour of Europe on a 2-day passport, has been Delbert's trademark from the get go. It has been both his greatest talent and his biggest problem. Over the years a myriad of record company execs have tried to pigeon hole him, without a great deal of success. Is he Country or Blues? Is that Rockabilly or Bluegrass? I'm hearing Rock 'n' Roll here; I thought he was Texas Swing. The answer is "E," all of the above, plus. Blurring the edges has gotten Delbert where he is today, loved by everyone who has ever seen him perform live over a span of 40+ years. Just add up the new fans made at every show (a high percentage of females... something about his bedroom eyes, I was told by a good friend's wife) and it had to happen for him sometime. It was a war of attrition that somehow hasn't extracted the heavy physical toll that it does from most road warriors. Del just kept getting better and amassed more life experience material for his songs. His collaborations on this outing are helping to keep our boy forever young. Take for instance the opening track, a roadhouse rocker that has cross over hit single written all over it, "Same Kind Of Crazy," co-authored with long time partner Gary Nicholson. About fifteen seconds in, you realize that he can still deliver the goods! Kevin McKendree (former keyboardist with Tom Principato, Big Joe and the Dynaflows, Lee McBee and the Passions, and Lee Roy Parnell) helps the entire CD flow with both Wurlitzer and Hammond; especially on this track where he pulls out a funhouse Leslie'd B-3 for a first-rate solo. After contacting Kevin about this effect, he said," The sound I got for "...Crazy" was just a B3 turned up loud with a rarely used Vibrato setting. I'm glad you think it sounds crazy, that's what I intended. Sounding like a tune that would make Lee Dorsey salivate, "Won't Be Me" has a little NRBQ humor rolled into it by co-author Al Anderson. Big Al also contributes on the barrelhouse blues "Blues About You Baby". Switching gears to more story telling is "Lone Star Blues," complete with fiddle, steel guitar and a chorus that is a who's who of Texas-based singer/songwriters too numerous to mention here. Sounds like the Armadillo lives! Lets not leave out the jazzy funk of "The Rub," the post 9/11 big band tip of the hat to "New York City," the two obligatory trademark ballads, "Everything I know About The Blues" and "Don't Want To Love You Anymore" or the smarmy, tongue in cheek tune about televangelism in "Smooth Talk." Did I mention the sleazy horn funk of "Jungle Room" or the double steppin' boogie of "Money Honey"? This recording finds Delbert's voice in customary ultra cool twang (like getting kissed with a fist full of Jacksboro Highway gravel in a velvet Royal Crown bag) and seemingly very comfortable being in his own skin. I recommend the purchase of this CD and seeing Del live. They are both very tasty treats.
Get out and see some live music soon!! Beardo for BluesWax, the largest Blues publication in the World"
deepbluereview | SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA USA | 10/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Room To Breathe" follows two really good releases, "One Of The Fortunate Few" and Grammy winner "Personal Best". In a way, it's unfortunate for Delbert that the prior two releases were so good as comparisons to those releases are now inevitable. Simply stated, "Room To Breathe" will not win any awards for best record of the year and does not rise to the level of excellence of the of the prior two discs. All that being said, the disc is not bad. Delbert opens with two upbeat country blues numbers that would have easily fit comfortably on either of the last two releases and then slips into a very interesting Tom Waits like number, "Jungle Room". "Everything I Know About The Blues" is a slow ballad, which seems to be a little out of step with the tempo of the rest of the disc. "Blues About You" is a Jerry Lee Lewis styled blues number. From there you get a good mix of regular McClinton fare until you hit the pitifully slow "Don't Want To Love You" which sounds as though it needs a couple of hounds howling in the background to complete the mood. Delbert turns it on again with "Ain't Lost Nothin'" and "Milk Honey" before ending things with the exceptional jazz flavored "New York City". Not enough oomph for 5 stars but a solid four stars nonetheless."
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 02/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to confess something. I made a mistake. Delbert's new CD was released in September. While I always get each of his releases, I put this one on hold because of a professional review, "...on Room to Breathe ... a sense of going through the paces permeates the project. Chord progressions are predictable...not much compositional substance is evident." This guy must be hearing a different CD than the one I get; I'm sorry I waited 5 months!Delbert McClinton's "Room to Breathe" is an excellent accomplishment. Delbert went through a creative period where he turned out a lot of songs and was ready to head back to record within a year after "Nothing Personal." 4 tracks are instant classics. The opener "Same Kind of Crazy" bounces with a great punching rhythm section, "Ain't no doubt about it; she's the same kind of crazy as me." "Everything I Know About the Blues" (I learned from you) is a slow burn that has "standard" written all over it with Todd Sharp's bluesy piano and Kevin McKendree doing some very classy strings on this track. If Etta James doesn't record this, I'm gonna lose a BIG bet. "Blues About You" is a great boogie woogie, "The hardest thing honey 'bout having' the blues, like I'm walkin' the floor in a dead man's shoes." "Ain't Lost Nothin'" has that great Jimmy Reed kind of beat with Lynn Williams' drums propelling this burning rocking blues. The other tracks including "Don't Want to Love You" are also great. So my advice is to not try to compare this Delbert CD to his others because, quite frankly, he's consistently brilliant! So plunk down the spare change and get some room to breathe! Enjoy!"