Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel


SXSW Platters

Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel


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.)


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  

See How Much Austin Venues Received in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
See How Much Austin Venues Received in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
Federal program gave $130 million to over 100 local businesses

Rachel Rascoe, Oct. 22, 2021

Planned Parenthood CEO to Headline SXSW 2022 Conference
Planned Parenthood CEO to Headline SXSW 2022 Conference
Lucasfilm, Patreon, WWE all sending speakers for 2022

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 19, 2021

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Joe King Carrasco y Colectivo Chihuahua Album Review
Joe King Carrasco y Colectivo Chihuahua Album Review
Beers Bars & Guitars

Oct. 22, 2021

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Sue Foley, Nat Adderley Jr., Cheap Trick, Little Mazarn and Ralph White, High Desert Queen, and the Austin Record Convention

Oct. 15, 2021


Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel, SXSW

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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