Rocking The Boat
" Delbert McClinton "

Blues Wax 8
Reader Rating 8

Rocking The Boat In Your Living Room, (09/30/08)

Rocking The Boat DVD is a laid back view at Delbert McClinton, who has ample segments to tell stories from earlier in his life as a performer to current and much-more successful times. The conversations are relaxed chats amongst his friends and are culled from over 150 hours of film aboard the 2006 Sandy Beaches Cruise, plus samples of cruises he does every year. It's a terrific mix of acts that are both well known and those that are more deserving of wider appeal. Most performers are from the Blues, and/or Rhythm and Blues genres, but also included are Zydeco, Country, Funk, and Rock bands.

Since 1995, McClinton has leased a cruise ship and filled it full of his musical friends and fans, where at nearly sixteen hours of music daily for seven days, they literally rock the boat to the delight of the passengers, and the musicians seemed to be having a blast as well. The well-selected bands represent some of the most successful singer-songwriters working today.

Some of my most favorite performances come from Jimmy Hall ("That's the Truth"), Stephen Bruton ("Right On Time"), Tommy Castro ("Wake Up Call"), Marcia Ball ("Louisiana"), and it was great to see Pat Boyack's guitar get extended play with Ball on her classic "Let Me Play With Your Poodle." It was also neat to see ex-NRBQ singer-songwriter/guitarist Al Anderson on board, too. There were also a couple of surprises coming from two artists that I am aware of, but not as much as I perhaps should be: Mingo Fishtrap makes funky horn-based music like Tower of Power and their performance of "In The Bank" is exceptional! Additionally, Wayne Toups really blew me out on his kicking Zydeco performance of "Please Explain." Toups and his band are intense and manage to blend Louisiana Zydeco music with rocking dual guitars, which at times was reminiscent of the heydays of the Allman Brothers. Toups' performance attracted me immensely, so now it's time for me to search around for some Wayne Toups recordings.

And let's not forget the star of the show, McClinton, who delightfully opens this fine DVD with a tune the original Blues Brothers used to perform, "B-Movie Boxcar Blues." McClinton and his finely honed band also buzz-cut through "New York City," and gets greasy-funky on "Shakey Ground." Appropriately, McClinton wraps up the festivities with "Hammerhead Stew," "Never Been Rocked Enough," and "Watchin' the Rain."

McClinton also makes several interesting and poignant comments about when he became an independent artist and started leasing his material to New West Records, which was a major turning point in his career. McClinton also proudly (and rightfully) talks about when he became free of recording with major labels, about how satisfying it was to win the 2006 Grammy award in Best Contemporary Blues album category. Bob Putignano: