Classic American artist has a lotta miles on his odometer but still runs like a charm
Texas-bred songwriter/musician Delbert McClinton,
who turns sixty-five Nov. 4, marks his first half-century of work with an album full of life and wisdom. Cost of Living
is presented with the ease of a veteran for whom writing and performing are second nature, but McClinton is still energized by an undiminished passion for the process. His 23rd album offers a series of vignettes whittled from everyday life, and they chart the course of relationships “goin’ south” and celebrate those that endure. While this is familiar territory, the thirteen songs here are infused with a fond acceptance of human foibles and are rendered bittersweet by an underlying sense of mortality. The titles encapsulate the themes: “Right to Be Wrong,” “Your Memory, Me and the Blues,” “The Part I Like Best,” “Kiss Her Once for Me.” Operating, as always, in the wide-open spaces where the blues, country, R&B and rock ’n’ roll intermingle, McClinton demonstrates his utter mastery of American-roots idioms.