Raven is to be congratulated for their Delbert McClinton series. There are three two-fers in the series available covering his years at ABC, Capricorn, and Capitol's Muscle Shoals Sound (MSS) imprint. Victim of Life's Circumstances and Genuine Cowhide were his first two albums for ABC and basically his first two solo recordings. They show the restless musical vision that McClinton, a Lubbock, TX, native like fellow adventurer Buddy Holly, was possessed by that blurred the lines between hard honky tonk country, Memphis soul, funk, classic New Orleans R&B, Chicago blues, and more. McClinton is unique in that not only does he display here his considerable gift as a singer and musical gadfly, but he's also a stunning harmonica player -- who taught John Lennon the licks that ended up on "Love Me Do" -- and songwriter. The former album is comprised entirely of McClinton's compositions, the latter a set of rock, soul, and R&B covers with two of his own gems tossed in for measure. Both records were cut in Nashville with a set of studio musicians known for their outside playing -- Bobby and Buddy Emmons, Reggie and Chip Young (who produced both records), Buddy Spicher, and more. Both of these albums are indispensable for McClinton fans and are the best possible introduction to those who only know his later work. The sound is impeccable, having been completely remastered from original tapes, and the package includes liners by Don McLeese and session photos. In addition to these two outings, Raven includes four bonus tracks from McClinton's third ABC album, Love Rustler. Another four are spread over the other two-fers. Price is standard, though these all come from Australia.
Victim of Life's Circumstances/Genuine Cowhide Review
by Thom Jurek