Delbert McClinton shines a light on his jazz influences with next year’s Prick of the Litter, a new album that splits the difference between Texas swing, Memphis soul and rootsy roadhouse twang.
On “Don’t Do It,” McClinton piles horns, upright piano and a Stax-worthy guitar solo into a nostalgic heap. The result is a throwback-worthy song that might’ve staked its claim on the Billboard charts in the mid-20th century, back when country, rock & R&B where still part of the same family tree. Tying the whole thing together is McClinton’s voice, whose smooth swagger and Southern heritage bring to mind another Texas-based treasure: Lyle Lovett. (Listen to the song below.)
“This song is about a guy who pushed it too many times and took his girlfriend for granted,” says McClinton, who wrote the song with Gary Nicholson. “I’m sure everyone knows this person or has been this person. When it was time to cut this song, I thought of Jimmie Vaughan. We had talked about doing something together for years. . .so I took these tracks to Austin and he and Lou Ann Barton put the finishing touches on the song. We had a ball.”
Set for a January 27th release, Prick of the Litter kicks off a busy year for McClinton, who will round out 2017 with the September release of his biography.