"Delbert McClinton may never record a truly great album, but he's come close a couple of times, but he'll never make a bad one. The sixty-year-old Texan has been making music for forty years, and if his blend of classic rhythm & blues, country, and rock & roll is not highly original, its never less than believable and sincere. Blessed with a solid set of pipes, McClinton is still one of the finest white r&b singers of the last few decades. He also plays a mean harmonica (He gave pointers on the instrument to a young John Lennon in 1962, prior to the recording of the Beatles' first single)."Nothing Personal" is one of the best albums of McClinton's long career. He wrote or co-wrote all thirteen songs, with the opening "Livin' It Down," "When Rita Leaves" and "Birmingham Tonight" this listener's favorites. There is no groundbreaking music here, but that's besides the point. Most artists would be glad to make music this gritty, real and fun at any point in their careers.The closest that Delbert McClinton ever came to a hit single was over two decades ago, when " Givin' It Up For Your Love" almost climbed the charts. Given current tastes, nothing here is going to change that. Delbert has also had bad luck with record companies, as several have folded or reorganized with McClinton's latest recording barely on the streets. He's on a new, independent label with "Nothing Personal" and I'll keep my fingers crossed for him. Certainly McClinton's fans will want to own this, but anyone who enjoys well-crafted, soulful r&b and rock will enjoy "Nothing Personal.""
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 03/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Delbert McClinton has been so good for so long, he should get an award for musical consistency. This CD takes us back to the bar where the smoke is thick & the music's hot. "Living it Down" starts the CD with a hot rocker. Delbert sings, "Sometimes you get the honey, sometimes all you get is the sting." A funky tune that bounces as much as rocks comes next in "Gotta Get It Worked On." "When Rita Leaves" is a tear-in-your-beer country lament laced with Spanish guitar: "Rita left with everything but the one red dress I liked." We get a little honky tonk boogie on "Squeeze Me In." Kevin McKendree burns the keyboards with his hot piano. Delbert joined Iris DeMent on her last CD, "The Way I Should"; she returns the favor with a good supporting vocal in the sad country song "Birmingham Tonight." "Baggage Claim" is a slow lusty tune with Todd Sharp's guitar sounding like a dizzy Duane Eddy. You'll want to hit the repeat button on this one. "All Night Long" is another full-tilt rocker recouting a love affair where they "did everything from A to Z." "Don't Leave Home Without It" is an almost elegiac declaration of love. Delbert hits a slow bluesy groove in "Desperation" where the girl is "devil & angel, hand in hand." "Nothing Lasts Forever" maintains the blues mood while picking up the tempo as Delbert advises, "have a good time & try to string a few together." "Read Me My Rights" slows us back down with Kevin McKendree's mournful organ & McClinton's soulful inquiry, "Do you still love me or am I just wastin' my time?" McKendree again shines with the blues piano riff on "All There Is of Me," an I-lost-my-baby song. The CD concludes with what seems like Delbert commenting on his career in "Watchin' the Rain." The melody seems purposefully off-kilter as a man who seems satisfied sings "the best you get is to just get by." Mistake not, this CD more than just gets by! This is one you'll want in your collection![Note: This is my 3rd try at reviewing this. If either of the other 2 show up, sorry! This CD is so good, it's worth the effort!]"
Why are we limited to 5 stars?
Tim | Tallahassee FL USA | 03/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After Delbert's last album (One of the Fortunate Few), I didn't think it was possible to get any better. I was wrong! Nothing Personal is DMac at his best, and it is nothing BUT personal - you have to live life to sing the blues, and our man sings and writes like he's been rode hard and put away wet. When Rita Leaves will probably get the most attention (and it deserves attention) but don't overlook the pure Delbert lyrics on Livin' It Down, or gems like Birmingham Tonight, Read Me My Rights, or my sleeper-pick, Don't Leave Home Without It.This is beautiful sound and as real as it gets."
If this music doesn't get to you, you may be dead
P. Bradt | NYFB, United States | 03/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why is this music not more popular? This should be a million-seller. Delbert could have taken the easy route and done a remake of his critically acclaimed "One of the Fortunate Few." But had he done that, he wouldn't be Delbert. Instead, he takes a look at life, love, relationships, hardship and triumph, and tells his stories over some of the finest honky-tonk and blues you'll ever hear. When he sings "Squeeze Me In," you can visualize Delbert on the phone, trying to get through to his sweetie, and the frustration of not being able to. When he sings about getting to Birmingham tonight, you know, without a doubt, this is a man who needs some lovin'. When he sings about lost love in "When Rita Leaves," you know he's a man who, in spite of having dodged a bullet in a relationship, his heart remains heavy and his life is empty. Delbert makes you feel joy and pain like no one since Robert Johnson. The musicianship on this record is beyond professional and beyond inspired. Kevin McKendree is simply, the finest pianist in popular music today and Todd Sharp plays some slammin' Texas blues guitar. Delbert himself lays claim to some of the best blues harp in the world and as usual, his singing is incredible. How one voice could have so much soul in it is a mystery of the ages. Delbert McClinton is simply, an unsung National Treasure. Quite simply, if this music doesn't get to you, make you laugh, cry, sing and dance, check your pulse. You may be dead."
Lotsa of Fun from Delbert.
musicnu | Deerfield, IL | 05/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing Personal is the latest in the feel good music of Delbert McClinton. It features the honky tonk, roadhouse, get up and dance music that Delbert has been recording for years. The best tracks are the up-tempo ones that are at the beginning of the CD. Delbert's vocals are not strong enough to do ballads, however, the songs are fun, toe-tapping affairs. I am always amazed that Delbert is so undiscovered. He is very adept at blending R&B and Country with a taste of honky tonk. This is a CD for fans of Delbert, who cannot wait for the latest dose. If you do not know Delbert, you should first try out I'm With You."