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One Of The Fortunate Few

61 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 7, 1997
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One Of The Fortunate Few + Blind, Crippled & Crazy + Never Been Rocked Enough
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Robert Cray and the Fabulous Thunderbirds turned their similar combinations of Texas blues and Memphis soul into hit records in 1986, bar bands all across this land thought they had glimpsed the promised land of a long-awaited blues revival. There has been a flood of soul-blues releases since then, many of which have been respectable, even admirable, but they have lacked the two essential ingredients that gave the genre its artistic peak 30 years ago, as well as its brief resurgence 20 years later--terrific songs and outstanding singers. Delbert McClinton's One of the Fortunate Few has both those elements. The guest vocalists include Mavis Staples, Lyle Lovett, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, and Vince Gill, but it's McClinton's own coarse-grained Texas baritone--as supple as a snake and as definitive in its bite--that dominates the soundscape. And it's McClinton's co-producer and cowriter, Gary Nicholson, who makes the difference in the material. Nicholson, whose day job is writing mainstream-country hits, indulges his blues jones at night and has come up with rollicking uptempo numbers and gospel-drenched ballads.

Most importantly, Nicholson's lyrics contain both the irreverent wit that Cray lacks and the confessional angst lacking in the T-Birds. The humor crackles in McClinton's belt-it-out vocal on "Old Weakness (Coming on Strong)" and an aching need is felt in his restrained duet with Staples on "Somebody to Love You." --Geoffrey Himes

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: October 7, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rising Tide
  • ASIN: B000002PJ9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,830 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Humphreys on December 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Some things really do get better with age, and a prime example of this concept has to be the wild Texas howler, Delbert McClinton. I've probably seen the man in concert 15 times by now and he's quite easily the most electrifying live performer I've ever seen.
Now, about this album. Just go buy it! As one reviewer said, Delbert doesn't really sing country (he's more of a roadhouse bluesman), although some of those flourishes find their way into his songs. OOTFF is, in my opinion, his best album ever, which is saying quite a lot. ("The Jealous Kind", now repacked as "Classics, Vol. I" and "Never Been Rocked Enough" are also exceptional.)
"Old Weakness Coming On Strong" is an outstanding opening track, with great vocals and guitar work. My personal fave on the album is probably "Monkey Around", featuring the superlative slide guitar of Mr. Lee Roy Parnell and background vocals by Pam Tillis and Patty Loveless.
"Sending Me Angels" slows things down, with more great guitar by Lee Roy and some nice harmony vocals by Vince Gill. "Better Off With the Blues" is a great acoustic blues song that Delbert wrote (I think). BTW, Delbert wrote or cowrote almost all of the songs on the album. The last track, "Best of Me" closes the album on a high note, with some hoarse roadhouse vocals from the man and his characteristic very fine harmonica.
The album hasn't been off my CD player since I bought it. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frank E. Freeman on December 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Delbert's for thirty years, and this is his very best, in my opinion. The samples listed above are only of the first 5 songs on the CD, which is a shame, because the LAST 5 are the one's I would showcase. The first 5 don't have a single bad cut among them, but the last ones are among the best he has ever released. The quality of the musicians he has helping him is amazing, and you can just hear in their work that they were having a great time doing this CD. Keltner on drums is simply unbelievable, even for him. On "Monkey Around" I still haven't decided if he is using a double pedal or just has the fastest feet in the world. "You Were Never Mine" is a great slow and simple ballad, "Best of Me" is classic Delbert and "Better Off With the Blues" is a great piece of acoustic blues with guitar work that must be heard on headphones to really be appreciated. Throughout, Delbert blows some of the best harp you will ever hear. Like the other reviewers, I agree there isn't even a so-so cut on the entire CD. I like the second half better, and have my player programmed to start with #6, but I love the entire album. If someone asked me to pick one CD to showcase Delbert's music, hell, one CD to show the range of the blues, this would be the one I would pick. I will know soon if you can wear a CD out by playing it too often.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Delbert rules. Simple as that. Y'all don't believe it, get off your wide behind and go watch him work. I'm here to testify, watching Delbert working out in front of a roadhouse crowd is pure pleasure. What Hershey's syrup is to a chocoholic, Delbert is to any real fan of honkytonk, rhythym and blues. Boiled down to purest essence, 'best of' genre, a blue ribbon speckled pup, y'all. This album is a labor of love, not something the man mailed in. 4 years since he put out the last one, it's all been worth the wait. Y'all listen to Delbert work his patented smooth/raspy way through it just once, you'll wind up with a big list of favorites off Fortunate Few. Destined to be one of those CDs that divorce lawyers hate, 'cause both parties just won't let the other one have it in the settlement. In the interest of domestic tranquility, buy 2 of 'em! You can both sit around later on separately listening to 'Better off with the Blues' and know you did the right thing. The fact is, if you've got a problem, Delbert's got a song to fix it up. Instant Solace and Consolation brought to you by brother Delbert. A musical balm for what ails you. The doctor says "Dim the lights, pour a big glass of heart-healthy red, and turn up the volume". Makes you wanna live forever.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Herb Bowie on June 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Delbert's for close to 20 years now. I own many of his recordings, and have seen him live at various locations. So while I can recommend the man in general for his soul, his great voice, his constantly high level of musicianship, and his cut-to-the-bone integrity, I have to say that this particular album, his latest, is something special.
First, the people accompanying him here are all stellar. Second, this album displays more variety than many of his others, going from acoustic blues, roadhouse rock, electric blues and ballads to others not easily categorized, such as "Too Much Stuff" and "Somebody to Love You." Third, the songs are all just great, with lyrics, music, singing and playing all noteworthy on every cut.
Fourth, there is a maturity and sense of satisfaction from Delbert that shines through on this album, that is not present in such abundance on past recordings. Delbert has been paying his dues for a long time now and, as the album title suggests, he now feels satisfaction with the place that he has arrived at, and this sheer appreciation for the life that he has lived radiates from every note on the recording.
Finally, there is a sort of thematic consistency running throughout the album. Delbert sings about issues of love on nearly every cut (which is not unusual for any singer), but from constantly varying perspectives, almost all of which cut against the grain of traditional romantic material. Many take a humorous view of the pitfalls of romance, and these make the serious numbers all the more compelling when they come along.
For my money, "One of the Fortunate Few" ranks up there with the best work of any singer working today.
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