Fricke's Picks: Bobby Whitlock


On my last night at this year's SXSW, I was a guest at a very private party — a surprise sixtieth-birthday bash for Bobby Whitlock, who was, for a time, at the center of everything as a vocal-keyboards sidekick with Eric Clapton in Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and as the Memphis-soul factor in Derek and the Dominos. By the end of that party, Whitlock, now living in Austin, was handing out presents at a piano, singing the Dominos' "Bell Bottom Blues" and playing the famous instrumental coda to "Layla." Whitlock and his wife, singer-saxophonist CoCo Carmel, close their fine new record, Lovers (Monney Productions), with a version of "Layla" that is part slow dance, part rave-up. But it is the combined heat of Whitlock's rugged white-Dixie-R&B howl and Carmel's gospel-siren vocals in new songs such as "Best Days of Our Lives" and "Ain't No Other Baby" that take you right back to 1970, minus the nostalgia.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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