Music from Texas blues and rock musician Delbert McClinton will be featured on the Aug. 12 edition of The Devo Rock Show.
The program airs 9 a.m.-noon. Click here to listen live.
McClinton is appearing Aug. 16 at The Warehouse at FTC in Fairfield; Infinity Hall in Hartford on Aug. 17; and at The Katherine Hepburn Culture Arts Center in Old Saybrook on Aug. 20. His recent biography One Of The Fortune Few (Texas A&M University Press) by Diana Finlay Hendrix, describes his long career and his many ups and downs playing his unique brand of rock, rhythm and blues, country and jazz.
Delbert started his career in the late 1950s and early 1960s in local bands in the Fort Worth, Texas, area where he frequently backed up rock and roll and blues pioneers such as Big Joe Turner, Bo Diddley, Muddy Watters, B. B. King and Jimmy Reed.
In 1962, he got a break when he played harmonica on the Bruce Channel hit “Hey Baby”. This led to a tour of England where he befriended John Lennon and The Beatles who were the opening act. Lennon said that McClinton’s harmonica part on “Hey Baby” was a big influence on him.
During the 1960s,McClinton would continue to develop his unique style. In the early 1970s, he recorded two albums with Glen Clark as the duo Delbert and Glen. The first was the debut production by T-Bone Burnett who has since garnered 13 Grammy awards as a producer. After the second effort with Clark, the two went their separate ways and McClinton embarked on a solo career following a move to Los Angeles.
His first solo record, Victim Of Life Circumstances, contained the song “Two More Bottles Of Wine” which was written at a low point in his life. It was a hit in 1978 for Emmylou Harris and helped him build momentum along with his song “B-Movie Box Car Blues” which was covered by John Belushi and Dan Akroyd’s band The Blues Brothers who were big fans of his music.
In addition to multiple appearances on Austin City Limits, McClinton appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1979 which helped grow his following by bringing in a new generation of fans.
In 1992, his duet with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman” won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.
McClinton’s career has seen him on a number of record labels many of which went bankrupt. Despite his bad luck with the record industry, his music has always been true to his original sound and he continues to bring in new fans drawn to his unique style of music.
His recent release — his 26th album of original material — Tall, Dark & Handsome (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), covers a wide range of
styles with a “live-in-the-studio” feel. It features his band The Self-Made Men and the horn section Dana led by tenor saxophonist Dana Robbins along with guitarists Bob Britt and James Pennebaker; keyboardists Dennis Wage and Kevin McKendree; and the rhythm section of bassist Mike Joyce and drummer Jack Bruno.