Son of a Gun Makes Top 25 Indie Releases of 2008!!
December 15, 2008
By Jana Pochop
"Ain't no doctor, no politician, I'm just a simple man. Give what I got, take what I need, I do the best that I can." McClinton's album Son of a Gun busts open with this line, and it's a fitting thesis for what he's all about. McClinton has an easy-to-listen-to voice and a batch of melodies that make you want to dance, sing along, or play dashboard drums even on the first go around. "A Thing For You,” written with Delbert McClinton (yeah, he’s from THAT McClinton family ... Delbert is his father) is an upbeat acoustic-based tune with a jangly step and a tasty organ line from Kevin McKendree that makes this track stand out.
“If We Don’t Work Together” (“we’re all gonna bring it down”) is a politically charged commentary with a “why can’t we all get along” vibe, except McClinton avoids cliche and adds some groove to the sentiment. We probably could achieve world peace if we all took a chill pill with this song as the soundtrack. "The Man I Wanna Be" is a haunting, almost eerie tune about responsibility with a talk-singing style that lends itself well to the mood. The hook, "it's up to me to be the man I wanna be," is smart and gritty enough to not be preachy. It's like McClinton takes us to Cowboy Church on this one. “Worn Down to the Bone” is another stand out track with excellent piano work by Andrew Belt. It brings to mind a John Wayne movie, if John Wayne was a trucker tired of the road but determined to keep moving ... the perfect driving tune.
McClinton uses his road band on this record, and the groove and tight arrangements are those of a group of musicians comfortable with playing with each other. Ultimately, though, it is McClinton's comfort that shines. He is at ease with everything from Delta blues to Texas roadhouse guitar, with a little bit of everything else thrown in. He's at ease with his musical heritage, too; listening to this record, one can tell McClinton has spent a lot of time learning from his musical heritage but has put a lot of thought into how he is forming his own path. This album is a recommended listen.