Sat February 2, 2013
Doors: 7:30pm / Show: 8:30 pm
Cost: $27.50/Adv $30 Day Of Show
About the Event:
Delbert McClinton proudly defies classifications. His music blends his Texas roots with roadhouse rock, juke-joint blues, Memphis soul and country. During his entire recording career, record labels have consistently tried to pigeonhole Delbert’s music. But if you ask the critics about Delbert’s dynamic vocals and harmonica style, you’ll hear descriptions ranging from ‘honky-tonk,’ ‘blue-eyed soul,’ and ‘Texas stomp’ to ‘country rock’ and ‘blues.’ Delbert’s music rebels against traditional categorization. Ask Delbert what kind of music he plays and he’ll say, “Fun music.”
McClinton’s early memories include going as a child with his parents to see Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys at The Cotton Club in Lubbock, TX, where he was born. His family moved to Ft. Worth when McClinton was 11, and just a few years later he started earning his Ph.D in real American music in a city known as a fertile incubator for a variety of styles. Out on the Jacksboro Highway at clubs like Jack’s Place, Delbert mastered the craft of keeping the hard-drinking rednecks, cowpokes and roustabouts entertained all night long. And at the legendary Skyliner Ballroom, where McClinton’s band was the only white act to play its Blue Monday nights AND be the backing band for the headliners, he received a first-class tutelage from the masters of blues music like Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson.
McClinton cut a number of local and regional singles before hitting the national charts in 1962 playing harmonica on Bruce Channel’s now classic “Hey! Baby.” On a subsequent package tour of England, Delbert showed some of his harp licks to the rhythm guitarist for a young band at the bottom of the bill. The lessons he gave John Lennon were later heard hit singles by The Beatles.
In the early 1970s, McClinton and his Ft. Worth pal Glen Clark headed out to Los Angeles, where they cut two then obscure but now prized albums for Atlantic Records as Delbert & Glen. Returning to Texas, he landed a deal with ABC Records. With the release of his 1975 solo debut, Victim of Life’s Circumstances, McClinton firmly stamped his Ft. Worth-bred blend of blues, country and blue-eyed soul onto the pop musical landscape. A succession of influential and critically acclaimed albums followed, along with coups like appearing on “Saturday Night Live” in its heyday — an acknowledgement of the pages torn from Delbert’s play book by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi when they formed The Blues Brothers. He scored hits like “Giving It Up For Your Love” and “Sandy Beaches,” won a Grammy with Bonnie Raitt for their “Good Man/Good Woman” duet, and over the years has enjoyed covers of his songs by Emmylou Harris, The Blues Brothers, Vince Gill, Wynonna, Lee Roy Parnell, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, among others.
Tightening radio formats may have offered fewer opportunities for his expansive musical approach, yet McClinton solidified his loyal following with his relentless touring and his annual Delbert McClinton & Friends Sandy Beaches Cruise every January in the Caribbean.
Then last year, when Delbert “came roaring out of the gate on Nothing Personal,” as Rolling Stone put it, his stature as one of the living icons of genuine American music returned to the forefront. The album debuted on five Billboard charts: Hot 200 Albums, Blues, Country, Independent and Internet Sales. What’s the secret behind his newfound success? “Life is better than it’s ever been for me,” McClinton explains.
The splash made by Nothing Personal has given McClinton “a great confidence” that makes Room To Breathe sound like it could be a personal best. But with both his characteristic modesty as well as the moxie of a man on top of his game, Delbert shies away from claiming his latest as his greatest. “I think that it is a perfect record to follow up Nothing Personal with,” he notes. “I’m not sure I’ve made the best record yet that I will ever make. And that in and of itself is a great feeling, because as long as I’ve been doing this, I still every day feel like I can do better. And that’s pretty amazing to me, because most people either burn out or stop doing it all the time by now. So far I have not lost the inspiration; it’s getting even better for me. I am the luckiest man you know.”
With the release of their seventh album Black Cat Oil in 2012, Delta Moon expands upon the sound that has sold thousands of records and allowed them to play for thousands of fans worldwide over the past several years. And with a live show second-to-none, the dual slide guitars of Delta Moon carry the listener deep into the heart of the American South, where sinuous Mississippi blues meets the gritty backwoods twang of Appalachia and winds around a rock-steady beat like kudzu on a barbwire fence. Net Rhythms calls it “Music as it should be – raw and honest.” We call it Blues-Infused American Roots.
Delta Moon’s music is a strong mix of personalities and sounds. A chance meeting in an Atlanta, GA music store brought the two founders, Tom Gray and Mark Johnson, together. Tom tried to sell Mark a Dobro out of the back of his van. Tom remembers the girl with Mark whispering, “Let’s get out of here.” Mark didn’t buy the guitar, but the two exchanged phone numbers and soon were playing together regularly in coffee shops and barbecue joints around Atlanta. Mark came up with the name Delta Moon after a pilgrimage to Muddy Waters’ cabin near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
After adding a rock-solid rhythm section, Delta Moon started playing nightclubs and festivals around South, quickly gathering a wall-full of local “best” awards, including winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2003. With much attention from the IBC Award, Delta Moon widened its travels to include the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2007 bassist Franher Joseph joined Delta Moon followed later by drummer Marlon Patton, completing the line up that remains today. The band’s work ethic of constant recording and touring continues into 2012 and beyond with tours scheduled for Germany, Italy, U.K., Benelux, Scandinavia, Canada, U.S. and more.
More about Tom Gray – The American Roots Music Association named Tom Gray 2008 Blues Songwriter of the Year. His songs have been recorded by Cyndi Lauper (including the hit “Money Changes Everything”), Manfred Mann, Carlene Carter, Bonnie Bramlett and many others. Tom was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Virginia and Georgia, but home was always the family farm in the North Carolina mountains. In the 1980s he led a rock group, The Brains, that recorded two albums on Mercury Records. Originally a keyboard player, Tom picked up his first lap steel guitar in the late 1980s and hasn’t put it down yet.
More about Mark Johnson – While not born in the South, Mark Johnson did grow up in a trailer park in Ravenna, Ohio. His uncle owned a record store, and there was always music in the Johnson home. Mark played guitar in bands all through high school. In the early 1990s he moved to Atlanta, where he formed a band called the Rude Northerners. About that time he abandoned standard tuning and became obsessed with bottleneck slide.