Free at Noon Flashback: Delbert McClinton still has what it takes at World Cafe Live
Delbert McClinton proved he’s still got it today during a packed Free at Noon performance. At 78, and with a brand new album called Tall, Dark & Handsome, the legendary blues singer-songwriter — who Rolling Stone calls a “Godfather of Americana music” — sounds as timeless as ever.
Backed by his seven-piece band Self Made Men + Dana (so named because the band is made up of six men and one woman, saxophonist Dana Robbins), Delbert, in his khakis and polo shirt, opened the show with the new album’s “Mr. Smith,” the lyrics appropriately announcing that he’s “back in town.” Tall, Dark & Handsome takes a look back at McClinton’s Texas roots, and while the prolific artist realizes what a long journey his 60+ year career has been, he doesn’t dwell on the past.
On Tall, Dark & Handsome, McClinton’s songs remain lighthearted, and the new tunes blend in seamlessly with his older songs. After giving us a taste of new songs like “Lulu” and “Let’s Get Down Like We Used To,” he worked in “Two More Bottles of Wine,” written by McClinton but popularized by Emmylou Harris in 1978, and his 1992 song “Every Time I Roll the Dice” before wrapping up the fast-paced set.
With encouragement from the crowd Delbert McClinton returned for an encore, playing an older favorite, “Fine & Healthy Thing,” before closing the show with his biggest hit, the 1980 single “Givin’ It Up for Your Love.” Check out photos from today’s set below.