036 – Delaney Bramlett – Had George Harrison, Eric Clapton and some guy named Jimi in his band — A1Blues.Com

036 – Delaney Bramlett – Had George Harrison, Eric Clapton and some guy named Jimi in his band

by A1 Mark on May 22, 2008

A1 Artist Spotlight.Com did a phone interview with Delaney Bramlett about his cd A New Kind of Blues. Excerpts of the interview are also in the podcast.
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Delaney Bramlett was raised in a log house in Mississippi. After a short stay in the Navy he started playing music in the bars and clubs of L.A. One night he was asked to play in the house band of a new TV show called Shindig. Shindig was a music variety show that had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Sam Cooke, Sonny & Cher and many more of the popular artists of the day. Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell were part of the house band on Shindig. Through this he made many contacts with people in the music business. In 1967 Delaney met and married Bonnie O’Farrell. Shortly after that they formed Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. They released six records between 1969 and 1972.
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Delaney Bramlett 2007 photo
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The second record was Accept No Substitute in 1969 which George Harrison really liked and played for Eric Clapton. Eric took Delaney & Bonnie and Friends on tour with him as the warm up act for his band Blind Faith. Part way through the tour Blind Faith was not getting along with each other. Eric started riding on Delaney’s tour bus, then started playing in some of their shows.
After Blind Faith’s break up, Eric Clapton joined Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Delaney said while in England and performing at the Royal Albert Hall, George Harrison came to see them and asked if he could join the band. That night they went by George’s house and picked him up and off on the road they went. From that tour they released what I think is one of the best live rock records ever made. Delaney & Bonnie and Friends on Tour with Eric Clapton has one powerful song after another with a real feel of you being there. Few live records have been able to capture that feel of you being right there in front of the band. Eric Clapton then used Delaney & Bonnie and Friends as his back up band for his first solo record Eric Clapton. Many still feel this is the best solo record Eric Clapton ever made. Out of the twelve songs eight of them are written or co-written by Delaney including Bottle of Red Wine and Let It Rain. Later Eric would use the core of this band to be Derek and the Dominos and record Layla.
George Harrison would use much of the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends band on his first solo record, All Things Must Past. Delaney told me when George first joined his band George asked for two favors of Delaney. One would Delaney teach him how to play slide guitar like he played it. Two would Delaney teach him how to write a gospel song. From what Delaney showed George and them jamming together turned in to My Sweet Lord. George was very grateful and the two of them stayed in touch up until George’s passing.
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One time John Lennon called to asked if they would like to be the Plastic Ono Band for a concert they were doing, Delaney said sure.
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Delaney Bramlett & Duane Allman photo
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Another time playing a live radio show in New York City Delaney had Duane Allman, Gregg Allman and King Curtis backing him up.
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Still another time Delaney lost his guitarist before a concert and Jimi Hendrix showed up to play in Delaney’s band. Delaney said Jimi ask him if he should play rhythm or lead, Delaney said take your pick, Jimi said I’ll play lead.
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Now all that is very interesting and fun to hear about but there is something else just as interesting. Delaney Bramlett’s new record A New Kind of Blues. Jimi Hendrix described Delaney’s music way back when as spiritual and that sound, that feel is still very present in this new cd. The way Delaney mixes blues, gospel, soul and rock is like no other artist. Everything Delaney touches on this record turns to gold. The production is first rate, the mix is awesome. The first time I heard the cd I could not believe how good the sound quality was. With ear phones/ear buds on, you will hear so much more of each instrument and their interplay with each other. If you like to hear separation on speakers your ears are going to have a feast. That alone kept me captivated for the first few times I played A New Kind of Blues. Even if this is not the kind of music you would normally listen to, you will come away from this knowing you have heard an outstanding and ingenious recording.
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We haven’t even talked about the songs, musicians, or Delaney’s great voice yet. Delaney told me most of the songs come to him very quickly. It’s hard to believe something this wonderful can come out of one man so fast. I do not recognize any of the musicians on the cd but they sure know how to give a powerful performance. Delaney’s voice, tone, and emotional feel are far better now than any time in the past. This is not a singer just singing a song. This is a man digging deep into his soul to express his feelings, Only someone who has been looking deeply into himself can pull this kind of emotion out of so many songs.
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Delaney Bramlett and Jimi Hendrix live photo
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The first track What Do You Do About the Blues is a bluesy gospel song. Delaney said he is asking the listener what do they do when they have the blues. He said he sings when he has the blues. Praise God we get to listen. The keyboards give a church like feeling as well as the chorus. Then there are these bluesy horns that come in as well as the blues guitar. It’s hard to put your finger on just what kind of music this is. It’s not just blues or gospel it’s a little of several things. Delaney’s voice is very soulful and full of emotion with a hint of questioning in his voice. This is a great opener for this record.
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Cold and Hard Times Delaney said is based on things that have happened to him along with a few things added to make the song work. I can almost imagine Delaney sitting on the back porch playing this song. It has such a down home sound. The percussion instruments on this song have to be heard with headphones to really appreciate all that is going on.
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Mighty Mighty Mississippi starts off with a plain acoustic guitar, harmonica, and a drum beat. Delaney is singing about how he started off in Mississippi and took a train to L.A. As the story grows so does the instrumentation of the song. Stan Ruffeo’s harp playing very nicely. Delaney really makes you feel you’re down in Mississippi with the mood he has created here.
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Ol Moanin’ Blues is just a bass guitar, two acoustic guitars, and Delaney’s moaning voice. Jerry McGee takes a fine guitar solo. You really get the feel they’re just sitting around playing songs with no care for what people will say. Just having fun doing what they like best.
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A New Kind of Blues is an upbeat full band sound that even has a sax solo. Delaney masterfully brings in different instruments almost like he’s teasing you with “look what I can do here”. This is a song that should be getting regular airplay on most any radio station. If your station is not playing this song please give them a call and request A New Kind of Blues.
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Delaney Bramlett & wife Susan photo
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Ain’t Got Nothin’ To Lose is a fun upbeat almost marching song. This has the full band stepping out for you to hear what they can do.
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P.O. Box 32789 is about a man who gets into a fight, shoots the other man, and is now on the run. The only way to get in touch with him is to send a letter to P.O. Box 32789. This is an old time blues style song with acoustic guitars and an eerie harmonica. The main instrument is really Delaney’s voice.
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The same is true of the next song, Delaney’s voice is the center of attention. This is the powerful Sam Cooke song Change Is Gonna Come. This is one of those songs you’re just a fool to try and redo. Everyone knows this as soon as they hear the first three words. Once again though Delaney Bramlett knows just what he is doing. The musical arrangement is good but it’s the voice that makes you fall in love with it.
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I Got the Time is a cool song about how this person has no time for anyone or anything. Then the person is sent to prison and sings about how he now has the time, all the time in the world. This is one of the songs I played in the podcast. Listen to the rhythm guitar. Delaney told me it just has one cord in the whole song. He got this idea from listening to classical music, something he likes from time to time. I Got the Time sounds like it has chord changes the way he put the song together, but it’s the same cord. Once again Delaney is a master at song writing.
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I’m Gonna Be Ready for me is the high point of A New Kind of Blues. This is a bluesy gospel song Delaney pulls out all the stops on. The full band is playing, and a chorus is backing Delaney as the power of the song builds. Delaney sings about how he is going to knock on heaven’s door, ask the Lord to let him in, and thank him for his forgiveness for the trouble he’s been. Delaney goes on to talk about the book of life, streets of gold, and how he’s gonna be ready. This is a big production and Delaney’s voice is excelllent. If this song is not nominated for gospel song of the year by the Grammies then they have less credibility than I already think they have. Call your gospel station and ask them to play this song too.
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Well, this pretty well wraps up one of the greatest records Delaney Bramlett has ever made. You can bet George, Jimi, and Duane are looking down from Heaven saying “that’s our boy”.
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Songs in the podcast are: Delaney Bramlett - 2007 - A New Kind Of Blues - cd cover
1. Cold and Hard Times
2. Mighty Mighty Mississippi
3. I Got the Time
4. I’m Gonna Be Ready
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Delaney Bramlett Website
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Delaney Bramlett MySpace page
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CD Baby Website to buy the cd A New Kind of Blues

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