Spring House, Block Island, R.I.
August 19, 2001
On August 19, 2001, Delbert and his super-tight band appeared at the Spring House on Block Island. Cottage Views was there to meet the boys, snap some photos, and interview the man.
The Band: Delbert McClinton - vocals and harmonica, Todd Sharp - guitars, George Hawkins, Jr. - bass, Lynn Williams - drums, Kevin McKendree - keyboards, Don Wise - sax, Terry Townson - trumpet.
Above: The Grammy Award winning Nothing Personal
Right: The Man
Below: The Spring House, Block Island, RI
Click on all thumbnails to enlarge photos.
Seen on tour with Delbert!
All photos taken by Michael A. Cimino. © 2003 Michael Cimino Archives
Use without permission prohibited by law.
Perhaps the greatest white Southern-Soul/Blues singers that Texas has ever produced, Delbert McClinton sounds like a man reborn on his latest disc, Nothing Personal. Cottage Views caught up with the legend on Block Island, the tiny island that rests between Rhode Island and Montauk, NY.
Cottage Views: Nothing Personal sounds like your most fully realized record to date.
Delbert McClinton: Yeah, I think so, too.
C.V.: What do you attribute that to?
D.M.: I did it over a period of about ten and a half months. I lived with the songs, changed a couple things here and there, and did what I wanted to do.
I paid for this record myself. I didnít have a record company or a record deal when I did this. I went in and paid for it and I did exactly what I wanted to do. I had the luxury of being able to color outside the lines some.
C.V.: Your songs can be seen as typical songs of love and loss, yet your use of imagery turns them into something largerólike short stories put to music.
D.M.: Yeah, thatís what I try to do, really.
C.V.: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
D.M.: Life. Just watching people and living.
C.V.: Do you write most of your songs while youíre on the road?
D.M.: No, I donít. As a matter of fact I write Ďem when Iím not on the road.
C.V.: Where do you call home these days?
D.M.: Iím living in Nashville.
C.V.: Do you still draw a lot of inspiration from Birmingham, Alabama?
D.M.: Well, Birmingham is a good town. Birmingham, and Alabama, has always been a special place for me. Iíve had a lot of good times in Alabamaórecorded a lot in Alabama. And, you know, Alabama is a colorful place (laughs).
C.V.: There are so many great lyrics on the new record. Words that strike many different chords in the emotional spectrum. The ones that Iíve been personally moved by lately are Itís a crime to spend your time trying to comply/when the best youíre going to get if youíre lucky is to just get by, from ďWatching the Rain.Ē Can you tell me what you wrote that about?
D.M.: Yeah (laughs). That song pretty much sums up life for me. I was sitting one day and watching it rain and just feeling that life was good. Itís always been good, but now Iím at a point where I donít have to kiss anybodyís ass (laughs).
C.V.: According to the history books you showed John Lennon a few licks on the harmonica in the early days. When did you meet him?
D.M.: That was in 1962. I played harmonica on ďHey! BabyĒ by Bruce Channel, which was a big world-wide hit in 1962. When he got booked to play over thereódo a tour of the British Islesóthey wanted a harmonica [player] so I got to go.
The Beatles were the opening act on a couple of shows we did and we hung out. John wanted me to show him something on the harmonica and he mentioned it somewhere to somebody. Now itís chiseled in stone that I taught him everything he knew.
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