Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel

Saturday

SXSW Platters

Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel

Lovers

Thirtysomething years ago, Texan Boz Scaggs invented adult contemporary radio by moving millions of Silk Degrees. Bobby Whitlock and wife CoCo Carmel's studio debut, Lovers, transforms silken Left Coast murmurs of the heart into gritty Southwestern declarations of ardor. Her tart saxophone and his thick, rich, deep grain delivery pledge the title track, singers entwined at the chorus never to unclinch. Equally hewn comes "Dice of God," seven-minute heavyweight rumble between Whitlock's preacher command and God's own truth. Austin axe brigade Stephen Bruton, David Grissom, and Eric Johnson carve up both sides. If 18 strings weren't plenty, Willie Nelson's guitar work on Carmel's "True Love," flushed and fluttering with its writer's vocal, courts divinity. The album's centerpiece, "Best Days of Our Lives," plays out as epic at the 1946 Best Picture of the same title, inflamed by Whitlock's Hammond organ, Carmel's gritty harmonies, and its down-and-dirty, three-guitar weave. "Dear Veronica," begun by Eric Clapton and Whitlock in the aborted sessions for Derek & the Dominos' never completed second album, lands Willie again to stylize Veronica Lake's cinematic allure into sonic sepia tones. That would close most LPs, but Lovers ends with Whitlock tearing out a piece of his heart to match his past, "Layla" slowed and saxed, built from comfort not for speed, and attacked with gusto by its guitarists forgoing the song's majority coda for fireworks its original guitarist has favored for decades. Clapton never reworked a love like this. (Saturday, March 15, Cedar Door, 8pm.)

****

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
Danny O’Dwyer wants you to understand who is making your games

Tucker Whatley, March 16, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>The Day Shall Come</i>
Film Review: The Day Shall Come
British satirist Chris Morris takes aim at security theater

Richard Whittaker, March 16, 2019

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, March 22, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Texas Platters
Grupo Fantasma
American Music Vol. VII (Record Review)

April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
Sydney Wright
Seiche (Record Review)

April 5, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel, SXSW

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle