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Delbert McClinton New CD- Cost Of Living- Reviews


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McClinton_2.JPGCD Review - DELBERT McCLINTON - Cost Of Living


Cost Of Living

New West Records

(13 Selections – Playing Time 40:52)

Veteran r&b and country singer Delbert McClinton has released what may be the “sleeper” album of the year with his latest collection, Cost Of Living. This is one of the most entertaining bunch of tunes he has ever assembled on disc…and he’s had some beauts since coming on the scene in the early 70’s with great songs like Two More Bottles Of Wine, Victim Of Life’s Circumstances, Take It Easy, Object Of My Affection, etc.

The album’s opening track, One Of The Fortunate Few, was actually the title given to a 1997 album by Delbert McClinton, so it may be safe to assume that this cut was left over from those sessions, and if so, then it’s been ‘on hold’ for much too long, as it’s a killer tune. Of course the same can be said for most of the rest of the material here, which McClinton has co-written with his usual pen-partners like Gary Nicholson, Al Anderson, etc.

There’s a ton of hot stuff here, most of it given a country/blues, r&b feel, with the best items coming in Kiss Her Once For Me, I Had A Real Good Time, the Cajun-blues flavored Two Step Too; a great country bar-room tale in Midnight Communion; and bumpers in I’ll Change My Style, Your Memory, Me, And The Blues and Alright By Me.

Listen also for a neat change-of-pace in Down In Mexico, a story song that brings back memories of Marty Robbins and his ‘gunfighter ballads’, but set to a modern day scene and sound. It’s a great piece of music.

If you haven’t tuned into Delbert McClinton before this, shame on you; but it’s never too late to get in on a good thing, and Cost Of Living is as good a place as any to start the adventure.



More About Life with Delbert McClinton

[5 October 2005]

"I know I'm probably sounding like a real *******," Delbert McClinton says. "But I'm really not." No worries, sir. I, too, know the horrors of flight delays.

by Nikki Tranter

PopMatters Books Editor

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On the cover of his latest album, Cost of Living, Delbert McClinton radiates contentment. Looking every bit the stylish crooner he did on Room to Breathe (2002) and Nothing Personal (2001), the singer resists the playful vibes of those previous jacket snaps, this time leaning away from the camera, composed and calm. Evidently, after years left hanging by major record companies, the creative independence McClinton enjoys with New West Records, has given the 65-year-old blues great reason to recline.

Don't think that means he's slowing down. McClinton's schedule is as frenzied as ever. He recently returned from a stint at the Notodden Blues Festival in Norway. He was in Canada in August, and will be playing and promoting Cost of Living all over the US through February 2006 and beyond. Though he openly admits promotion is not something he readily enjoys, the amount he's done of late -- perhaps incidentally as the singer would likely be living on the road, album to promote or not -- is working. The album is receiving rave reviews, and it's selling pretty well, too.

Those raves are justified. McClinton's 18th album and his first in three years, Cost of Living is true to form. And why not? The singer has delivered consistently good music over the years, each album jammed with songs that capture his unique mélange of blues, country, rock, and soul. If Cost of Living differs at all from his previous efforts, it's due to the resounding sense of personal achievement that emerges with almost every song, particularly "The Part I Like the Best", "I Had a Real Good Time", and the marvelous, "One of the Fortunate Few".


On each of these tracks, McClinton fits his trademark husky vocals over joyful meditations on life's pleasures, not least of which are women, wine, and song. The album is a dedication to the good life, something McClinton deserves to revel in after enduring a number of career bumps and personal dramas. Those dramas seem long in the past, though, with Cost of Living serving as a sound testament to life lessons truly learned. "There's a big ol' world of opportunity for a man who sings the blues," he sings on "I Had a Real Good Time", an ode to respecting your wilder side if ever there was one. "You learn a whole lot more about life from the things you're not supposed to do." This is a fun, lively record. And it makes an excellent case that one needn't be sad to sing the blues.

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