We are pleased to have Multi-Grammy Award winning Blues artist Delbert McClinton as our headline act for Saturday October 8th!
Band will feature:
Delbert McClinton-Vocals, Harmonica, Cowbell
Jack Bruno – Drums
Kevin McKendree/ Dennis Wage – Keyboards & B3
Bob Britt/ James Pennebaker – Guitar
Mike Joyce – Bass
Quentin Ware – Trumpet
Dana Robbins – Saxophone
2015-16: Delbert McClinton: “Everything Will Be Rosy”
Multi-Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton is “One of the Fortunate Few,” who
has managed to live his dreams for more than six decades. The stars have aligned for
Delbert. Those stars may have leaned toward the blues, but Delbert has managed to
keep them on the bright side.
I’ve Got Dreams To Remember: The Early Years
He was born four years after Buddy Holly in the musically fertile grounds of
Lubbock, Texas. He cut his teeth on Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys at Lubbock’s
legendary Cotton Club. When he was 12, Delbert’s family moved to Fort Worth so
his father could work on the Rock Island Railroad.
As a teenager, Delbert had a backstage and front row seat to learn from the masters
as his teenage band grew into the house band at Fort Worth’s Jack’s Place on the
Jacksboro Highway, backing blues legends like Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie
King, Albert Collins, and Gatemouth Brown.
Startin’ A Rumor: Delbert and Lennon
His reputation grew, and when he was 22, he traveled with Bruce Channel to
England to tour in support of Channel’s hit “Hey Baby,” on which he played
harmonica. Delbert and John Lennon spent time over a period of several days. The
two 22-year old young musician/singers had a lot in common.
Delbert explains, “The Beatles were opening for us on the tour. They would open the show, then I would play three songs or so, and then Bruce (Channel) would come out and we would do the headliner set. John wanted me to give him some tips on harmonica. The story’s been romanticized. I didn’t really teach him. I showed him what I did. When to suck and when to blow. Nothing really more than that. Although it was a moment in time.”
Livin’ It Down: Back to Texas
Delbert returned to Texas and continued playing with legendary blues musicians,
hitting the road when he could. During the 1960s, he married and had a son, Monty,
before the marriage crashed. He continued playing in and around Fort Worth until
he took up with a female friend who had just gotten divorced. She talked him into
heading to Los Angeles.
Two More Bottles of Wine: The Los Angeles Years
So McClinton moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s to record with his songwriter
partner, Glen Clark. The duo, under the name Delbert & Glen, released two albums
with Atlantic Records. The relationship with the divorcee didn’t last long, but the
day she left, he sat on the mattress in a dank rent house, and wrote a song about
sweeping out a warehouse in West Los Angeles that became the first megahit for
Emmylou Harris, “Two More Bottles of Wine.” And thus, began his series of “it’s all
Ain’t Lost Nothin’: Texas and Tennessee
McClinton went home to Texas, met his second wife, and had his second son, Clay.
They moved to Nashville, and he signed with ABC Records. In 1975, he released his
first solo project, Victim of Life’s Circumstances. For the rest of the decade,
McClinton released a string of successful albums and songs, including 1980’s Top 10
hit, “Givin’ It Up For Your Love.”
Changes in tax laws and liberal tax advisors caused Delbert and his friend, Willie
Nelson to wind up in the same tax shelter boat in the early 1980s, a time that has
often been called Delbert’s “Lost Years.”
“No. I wasn’t lost. I know where I was,” Delbert says, “ I was working for the IRS. They decided that I owed them several hundred thousand dollars. So I was playing for $700 a night and traveling with a loyal band, with the mattress I was born on under a camper shell in the back of the pickup Sometimes the feds would show up at the gig and want all of our money. But we managed to get to the next gig.”
Pledging My Love: The Good Life
Along the way, he met his forever wife, Wendy Goldstein, a news producer for NBC,
who agreed to a date after he played Saturday Night Live. A whirlwind romance
followed. (She admits that the network held a position for her for 18 months, just in
case she changed her mind.) Nearly 30 years later, she is still on board. And thanks
to Wendy, Delbert got straight with the IRS, and has celebrated the greatest
successes of his career, including his third child, a daughter, Delaney.
McClinton earned his first Grammy nomination in 1989 for Live from Austin and his
first win in 1991 for his duet with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman.” The
following year, McClinton collaborated on projects with Melissa Etheridge, Tom
Petty, and Tanya Tucker, with whom he partnered on the popular, “Tell Me About
McClinton earned two more Grammys and topped the Billboard Blues chart with a
series of albums in the 2000s, including Nothing Personal, Cost of Living and
Acquired Taste. He teamed up with Clark again for his most recent release, Blind,
Crippled and Crazy.
Delbert is driven by the lessons of his mentors, and shares what he has learned with
those who follow the path.
Giving It Up For Your Love: What’s Next
Delbert McClinton has big plans up his sleeve. This is a big year for the multi-
Grammy award winner and legendary musician. In November, Delbert turns 75.
Live shows have been his focus and bread-and- butter throughout his career.
He will be kicking off the yearlong Diamond Jubilee tour with more rocking energy
than ever before. And it’s time. Last year was a turning point.
2014 was a rough year. In March, his son, Austin musician Clay McClinton, was in a
car accident and suffered a head injury. Delbert and Wendy got the call in Nashville
in the early morning hours from oldest son Monty, and flew to Austin to stay by
Clay’s side in the hospital for several weeks.
Delbert said, “That’s when I met me. That’s when I met who I was. And life has changed a great deal since then.”
As Clay began to show signs of improvement, Delbert headed out to Florida for a show.
He recalls, “We got to the venue. I thought I was having heartburn. It got worse. I knew something was not right. They called EMS. They checked me out and told me that I was okay now, but should probably go to the hospital and find out if I had a heart attack. I didn’t go with them, but had the promoter take me to the hospital, and found out that yeah, I had a little “nudge,” they called it. They did a heart cath the next day and found that I had 95% blockage in the main artery. A Widow Maker, they call it.”
Today, Clay has almost completely recovered from his head injury and is also
playing shows again.
“He’s grateful,” Delbert says. “His wife, Brandy, said, ‘Clay has really taken advantage of his second chance.’”
The same can be said for Delbert. He has also made an incredible recovery. Delbert
returned to the stage two months after his April, 2014 heart surgery.
“I didn’t know if I could sing. I didn’t know if I could be me,” he said, “but I found that I had so much more energy and more stamina. From 95% blockage to open road. It made a big difference.”
Everything Will Be Rosy: The Future
And now Delbert has taken to that open road, full speed ahead. He is playing in
legendary, historic, and top venues from New York to California. He is planning his
22 nd Annual Sandy Beaches Caribbean Cruise in January of 2016. He’s working on a
new album, and plans to have it ready to go in time for the Diamond Jubilee
Celebration. He has one of the hottest bands he has ever toured with. And he is
writing like never before.
The music for the new album is new and fresh, and maintains that Delbert
He easily describes what some struggle to define: “Call it blues or country rock or American roots or whatever, but one of the most important things about my songs continues to be that there is always a way out. Nothing I write spirals into the abyss. It’s all ‘I’ll be all right.’ The music is mostly so positive, in that ‘I’ll be okay’… ‘and maybe if’… ‘I’m hoping that’ frame of mind…. I always want to have an uplifting draft in the breeze of the song.”
So what keeps the energy in more than 60 years of music? His incredible musical
versatility has been a blessing and a curse. He has managed to stay ahead of the
curve – rather than just riding the wave of musical popularity. He has paddled out
and caught the wave as it is forming as an innovator in American music.
Delbert has found more than a million friends on the road, on the Sandy Beaches
Cruises and on stages around the world. His new album project includes a signature
song that is easily his soundtrack for this year:
Everything Will Be Rosy
Hearts get broken every day
You can’t let that get in your way
Soon enough those tears will fade
Everything will be rosy.
Sometimes life gets so absurd.
The trick is learning how to handle the curve.
Get a grip don’t lose your nerve.
Everything will be rosy.
There gonna be hard times, good times,
It really ain’t none of my business,
But I’m gonna tell you ‘bout it anyway.
You don’t have to answer. You’re nobody’s fool
Listen up. I got news for you.
You gotta find a way to lose your blues,
And everything will be rosy.
© 2015 -Delbert McClinton
All along the way.