Delbert McClinton and the Self-Made Men (from the album Prick of the Litter)
Rhythm and Blues has always found a kindred spirit in Delbert McClinton, and that relationship stays strong on the recent release from Delbert McClinton and the Self-Made Men, Prick of the Litter. Delbert’s sound features a musical maturity to his natural take on Americana on Prick of the Litter as the songs welcome in a Jazz influence to their groove. Age has a major role in the story lines on the album as well as Delbert ambles in on a softly strummed shuffle for the romantic memories of “Like Loving Used to Be”, rides a raggedy rhythm as he shares the lessons he has learned in loving as the “Skip Chaser”, and slows for a touch of Bourbon Street drag as Delbert McClinton and the Self-Made Men namecheck bad habits in the rear-view mirror as they save room for the one addiction that still holds their interest in “Jones for You”.
Delbert McClinton makes Prick of the Litter a family affair as he shares co-writes on the tracks with band members Kevin McKendree (keyboards) and Mike Joyce (bass). Delbert and Kevin share the control booth with Bob Britt (guitar) for the production on Prick of the Litter as the trio guide the smooth sound of the album with a band filled out by Dana Robbins (saxophone), Quentin ‘Q’ Ware (trumpet), and James Pennebaker (guitar). Delbert admits he is ‘hard on drummers’ and is comfortable with Jack Bruno (Joe Cocker, Tina Turner) sitting behind the kit for the Self-Made Men. Fellow Austinite Lou Ann Barton shares the microphone for the call and response of album opener “Don’t Do It” as the horn punctuates a beat that rises above the squealing tires of the car backing up Nashville’s Belmont Avenue to catch up with a departing lover and make one more plea. Prick of the Litter serves a resume for Delbert McClinton as he talks about the ‘kind of woman’ he wants to know in “Neva”, admits for the need to stay in bed to nurse a “Bad Haircut”, loses the Blues as he sees the world through glasses that are “Rosy”, and sashays into the recollection of a fine vacation in “San Miguel”. Prick of the Litter lets the band play on in the instrumental jams of “The Hunt is On” with the sweet sound at the heart of the album. Delbert McClinton is happy with the album as he is with Self-Made Men feeling that ‘the songs, the band, the production. Everything came together. We didn’t leave no chicken on the bone’.