Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bobby Whitlock - 1972 - Bobby Whitlock

Bobby Whitlock
Bobby Whitlock

01. Where There's A Will There's A Way 3:43
02. Song For Paula 4:17
03. A Game Called Life 4:17
04. Country Life 2:58
05. A Day Without Jesus 3:22
06. Back In My Life Again 3:30
07. The Scenery Has Slowly Changed 3:50
08. I'd Rather Live "The Straight Life" 2:30
09. The Dreams Of A Hobo 3:17
10. Back Home In England 2:50

Bobby Whitlock: vocals, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, keyboards, producer
Eric Clapton: guitar
George Harrison: guitar
Jerry McGee: guitar
Klaus Voormann: bass
Carl Radle: bass
Jim Gordon: drums, tabla
Jim Keltner: drums
Chris Wood: flute
Jim Price: trumpet, trombone
Bobby Keys:saxophone
Delaney Bramlett: guitar, backup vocals, producer
Bonnie Bramlett: backup vocals
The L.A. Symphony Orchestra

Whitlock’s story is a remarkable one. Born to a hardscrabble existence, raised in abject poverty, abused by his preacher father and was sent out to pick cotton in the fields. Moving from one railroad town to another, Whitlock was quite literally from the wrong side of the tracks.

Yet thanks to his singing and piano playing, music was Whitlock’s escape. Winding up in Memphis, Whitlock hooked up with Stax Records, who signed him as the first white artist to their new pop label HIP. But it was soul music, not pop, that was in Whitlock’s heart – and his break came when Delaney & Bonnie asked him to join their band, The Friends.

Following Delaney & Bonnie from Stax to Elektra Records, Whitlock found his life starting to intertwine with ‘60s rock royalty. Delaney & Bonnie took him on tour with Blind Faith, where Eric Clapton was impressed with Whitlock’s playing and the camaraderie he saw in The Friends. Soon, Whitlock joined Clapton, Jim Gordon and Carl Radle in Derek & The Dominos, the crack unit that backed George Harrison on much of the seminal All Things Must Pass and recorded the classic rock album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.

During the recording of those albums, Whitlock tentatively made his first steps as a solo artist. Though drugs were already beginning to tear Derek & The Dominoes apart, Whitlock was able to call on some high profile friends (and “Friends”) to play on his album, including Clapton, Harrison, session bassist Klaus Voorman (John Lennon, Carly Simon, et al), drummer Jim Gordon, Chris Wood (of Traffic) and others. “I really loved my first record and everything that was behind it,” says Whitlock now. “And for the love that was brought to the room by everyone each time we recorded. I know that you can hear it in Eric’s solo on "The Scenery Has Slowly Changed.”

When Bobby presented his album to Atlantic Records they rejected it, citing a different vision for his debut record. So Bobby bought himself out of his contract.

Pat Thomas, the reissue producer of this CD, told Bobby Whitlock during their first conversation about reissuing these recordings: "Your first two solo albums are the missing link for all this seminal music that has been on CD for years; Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, All Things Must Pass, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Dave Mason’s Alone Together, and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends ’On Tour’ with Eric Clapton.”

Bobby paused for a moment, and said, “I never thought about it like that, but you’re absolutely right.”