Kindred spirits: Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Earl Keen
Show: Delbert McClinton performing solo Friday at Rams Head Tavern. Show starts at 8 p.m. 410-268-4545. www.ramsheadtavern.com. $65.
Reunited after 40 years? Good grief! Texas roots-rock vets Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark should team up in the studio every four years or so, judging by their new album, “Blind, Crippled and Crazy.”
Back in the early ’70s, McClinton and Clark cut two influential albums before pursuing successful solo careers — McClinton as a Grammy-winning artist-
tunesmith-performer, and Clark as a prolific, versatile songwriter.
Yet, after all these years, their soulful, weathered voices still sound as if they were meant to be heard back to back, exchanging verses and quips.
The album’s best songs were primarily written by McClinton, Clark and longtime McClinton collaborator Gary Nicholson. Opening track “Been Around a Long Time” establishes an autobiographical tone that carries over to such highlights as the rueful “Oughta Know” and the exuberant “Sure Feels Good.” The middle-age reflection “More and More, Less and Less,” on the other hand, sums up a hard-won lesson with a droll observation: “If I don’t throw the party / I won’t have to clean up the mess.”
Then there’s the cleverly configured “Peace in the Valley,” which converts the title of a gospel favorite into a classic honky-tonk refrain: “There’s been peace in the valley, honey / Since you been gone.”
Taking turns on harmonica, McClinton and Clark colorfully underscore their enthusiasm for Southern soul, country and rock grooves, backed by a seasoned crew that includes guest guitarist Anson Funderburgh. Small wonder “Blind, Crippled and Crazy” sounds crazy good.