After his ABC deal collapsed, Delbert McClinton signed with Phil Walden's Capricorn Records in 1978. Second Wind was his debut for the label and was produced by the legendary Johnny Sandlin (of the Allman Brothers' Fillmore East and Brothers and Sisters fame), with backing by the entire Muscle Shoals stable -- horns and rhythm section, and Sandlin on lead guitar, and Clydie King and Bonnie Bramlett leading a quartet of female backing vocalists. The recipe was right for a burning session of Southern-fried soul, R&B, and funky rock & roll. The material was solid. First there was "'B' Movie" (aka the notorious "'B' Movie Boxcar Blues" from the Blues Brothers movie in 1980) from the Delbert and Glen project that derailed a few years earlier. McClinton's own "Take It Easy," "It Ain't Whatcha Eat but the Way That Ya Chew It," "Maybe Someday Baby," and "Lovinest Man" were also on the set; each one a soulful funky groover, with "Take It Easy" being a straight-up Memphis-styled soul tune. The new arrangement of Taj Mahal/Jesse Ed Davis's take on "Corrina" shuffled and simmered the pot with a burgeoning intensity. The Allmans themselves, immediately following "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" during their live set, could have executed this spooky, jazzed-up read of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful." The horn chart in Chris Kenner and Dave Bartholomew's "Sick and Tired" is so greasy it nearly slides off the platter. Add McClinton's harmonica to the break, and it's groove-a-licious dirty gumbo. In addition, McClinton's rhythmic delivery on Johnny Cash's "Big River" completely reinvents the tune before the set gets carried out with McClinton's Allen Toussaint-inspired "Lovinest Man," on which Barry Beckett's electric piano shines. Second Wind is a smoldering slow burn of an album and sounds as fresh in the 21st century as when it was recorded.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek