Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men
Prick of the Litter (Hot Shot)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Feb. 3, 2017
Over the course of a half-century-plus career, Delbert McClinton has impacted nearly every genre he's touched, from honky-tonk and country to the roots of rock and pop and soulful R&B. The Lubbock-born/Ft. Worth-reared belter even extends an indelible influence into the realm of blues harp. At 76, he now plies a jazzier note while retaining his trademark fire and grit. "Don't Do It" bursts at the outset, bluesy and swanky with help from Lou Ann Barton and Jimmie Vaughan, but "Doin' What You Do" and "Middle of Nowhere" roll easier rhythms, the latter titling a high falsetto from McClinton's still flush vox. Centerpieces "San Miguel" and "Pulling the Strings" pluck atmospheric tones alongside "Like Lovin' Used to Be" and "Jones for You," the singer's scratchy croon striking somewhere between Jimmy Durante and Randy Newman. "Neva" kicks up a funkier groove. Delbert McClinton tears up the blues circuit, but the easy saturation of Prick of the Litter serves up its own satisfaction.