Saturday, October 22, 2016

Delbert McClinton at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

Delbert McClinton was born in Lubbock, Texas, but at age 11 relocated with his family to Fort Worth, Texas. There, he played in a bar band, the Straitjackets, who backed several blues legends including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. McClinton in 1962 played harmonica on Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby," and on a British tour with Channel, McClinton instructed John Lennon on blues harmonica. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1972, McClinton partnered with fellow Texan Glen Clark to record two country-soul albums, then launched a solo career. Although now based in Nashville, Tennessee, McClinton was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. The three-time Grammy award winner will release his 25th studio album, Prick of the Litter, on January 27, 2017.

The 76-year-old country blues rocker headlines at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill two or three times a year, and each time proves that he is still a leader in his ever-shrinking field. While his voice has weathered over the years, tonight it was as stirring and convincing as ever. McClinton sang, played harmonica, and led his band through robust blues rock jams and barreling country honky tonk tunes, filling out his original songs with guitar, organ and horn runs. As usual, McClinton ended his 90-minute set with his one Top 40 hit single, "Givin' It Up for Your Love." The house had been rocked.

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