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Some Things Coming

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Album Review

Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett recorded a handful of albums including the greatest live-to-tape recorded album in the history of rock & roll: Motel Shot. It was done in a single night in a motel room with all manner of guests from Clapton to Gram Parsons crowding the mikes. In addition, there is the joyous and powerful To Bonnie from Delaney. Some Things Coming may not rank quite as high in the pantheon as those, but it does smoke. Some Things Coming issued in 1972, features Bramlett on lead vocals and guitars with a full-on horn section (including Jim Gordon and Jerry Jumonville), Venetta Fields and Clydie King on backing vocals throughout, string arrangements by George Bohannon, percussionist Milt Holland, Ron Grayson on drums, bassist Robert Wilson, and B-3 boss Tim Hedding — the backing chorus is added to on several cuts, with future disco diva Gloria Jones and Shirley Matthews. The material is wide-ranging but always greasy. The opener, the driving, funky Southern soul and gospel of "Over and Over" is revved to rockist hedonism with a splintering, overdriven guitar and a popping bassline dueling to the death with double-time drums and an ambitious horn chart. There's the in-the-pocket ballad "Thank God," which manages to evoke both Ray Charles and '60s Nashville without blowing it. There's gospel-blues of "Please Accept My Love" done in the utterly believable, wanton, pleading singing voice that Leon Russell and Bramlett shared (although Bramlett's range is wider). It gets downright hard and funky on "Keep It Going," a tune that Bramlett co-wrote with Elvin Bishop. This is snaky, voodoo funk at its best. One can hear the Meters and gospel choir meeting on the street corner where Saturday night reluctantly gives way to Sunday morning and the spirits are everywhere duking it out. Add to this the title track, and the album is worth its weight in gold. Bramlett utilizes percussionist Holland with his kalimba, congas, and boatload of hand percussion, and a gospel choir singing in Zulu, taking the innovation of Hugh Masekela and Chisa into the rock and Southern soul idiom. He answers them, line for line, in English. It all flows together until it erupts in razor sharp lead guitar lines; funked out bass and drums, all underscored by the B-3 in the middle eight before it gives way again to the chant. It's stunning, especially considering it's followed here with the traditional "Down by the Riverside," done with so much class you'd swear you were in church, except for that guitar solo. Speaking of which, "Sit Right Down" offers one of the nastiest sounding National Steel bottleneck guitars ever put in front of a mic in a studio. When it's over, the silence is deafening. This is one of those records most people would kill to make, and Bramlett made over half a dozen of them and produced Clapton, taught him to sing, and wrote one of his biggest hits ("Let It Rain"), yet remains an all-but-forgotten artist. This one is strictly all-kill, no-filler.


Born: July 1, 1939 in Pontotoc, MS

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although his popularity was often eclipsed by the artists he mentored, Delaney Bramlett was an accomplished guitarist and singer/songwriter whose style influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale, and Duane Allman. A native of Pontotoc, MS, he served time in the U.S. Navy before moving to Los Angeles in 1959. He soon became a member of the Shindogs, the resident band on the TV show Shindig. Such a job allowed Bramlett to rub shoulders with other notable musicians, and in 1967 he met Bonnie Lynn...
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Some Things Coming, Delaney Bramlett
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