Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men – Tall, Dark, and Handsome (2019) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men – Tall, Dark, and Handsome (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:32 minutes | 298 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Hot Shot Records

Delbert McClinton is a legend among Texas roots music aficionados, not only for his amazing longevity, but for his ability to combine country, blues, soul, and rock & roll as if there were no distinctions between them. A formidable harmonica player long before he recorded as a singer, McClinton performed with legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reid, and more. McClinton’s career began in the late ’50s, yet it took him nearly two decades to evolve into a bona fide solo artist. In 1978, Emmylou Harris took his “Two More Bottles of Wine” all the way to the top of the country charts. Over the next years, McClinton placed material with stars like Wynonna, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, and Martina McBride among others. He has guest appearances with Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, BB King, Mavis Staples, and more.

Retaining the Self-Made Men but adding saxophonist Dana Robbins, the jumping outfit he unveiled on the 2017 album Prick of the Litter, Delbert McClinton shakes things up for the swinging set Tall, Dark, And Handsome. Where Prick of the Litter settled into a mellow vibe, Tall, Dark, And Handsome is bold and restless, finding McClinton trying on all manner of blues for size. Naturally, most of this blues could claim Texas as its home, whether it’s the T-Bone blare of “Mr. Smith,” the greasy twang of “If I Hock My Guitar,” or the woozy Latin accents on “Gone to Mexico.” In McClinton’s hands, this genre-hopping — which also includes a bit of smoky jazz on “Any Other Way” and down-and-dirty funk on “Let’s Get Down Like We Used To” — sounds unified, all stemming from the same crossroads of blues, rock & roll, and country. It also sounds like a rollicking good time, a party that doesn’t stop until the end, when the album closes with the spare, creepy “Temporary Insane,” but even that moment of eeriness gets punctured by the offhand coda “A Poem.” Such a casual switch in tone illustrates how Tall, Dark, And Handsome is the work of a master stylist, a musician who draws upon old, familiar sounds and creates something idiosyncratic and soulful in equal measure. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1 Mr. Smith
2 If I Hock My Guitar
3 No Chicken on the Bone
4 Let’s Get Down Like We Used To
5 Gone to Mexico
6 Lulu
7 Loud Mouth
8 Down in the Mouth
9 Ruby & Jules
10 Any Other Way
11 A Fool Like Me
12 Can’t Get Up
13 Temporarily Insane
14 A Poem