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Sweet Inspiration

Delaney Bramlett

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Even music lovers who never took up an instrument can appreciate why the late Delaney Bramlett was hailed a "musician's musician." Just listen past Sweet Inspiration's '80s-styled production and you can hear how he has influenced the soft bluesy touches of JJ Cale and the flowing jams of Duane Allman. Bramlett even taught George Harrison how to play slide guitar. Sweet Inspiration was recorded in 1989 but wasn't released until 2002. The album opens with the title track which was penned by Spooner Oldham who plays keys throughout, and although the sounds of his synthesizers haven't aged any better than a Thompson Twins record, the rootsy contrast of Bramlett's vintage guitar along with the backing gospel choir equalizes the overall feel. One thing that has aged remarkably well is Bramlett's voice. Where his singing on those late '60s and early '70s Delaney & Bonnie recordings sound like a young man channeling an old soul (not unlike Spencer Davis- era Steve Winwood), by 1989 his honed and throaty inflections could belt out as soulfully as a Muscle Shoals veteran, especially on songs like "Let It Rain" (co-written by Eric Clapton) and more noticeably on the aptly titled "Funky."

Customer Reviews

So glad he's still around ...

I played the opening set with Ten Wheel Drive on the first day of the first Atlanta Pop Festival, July 4, 1969, and then I went into the crowd. I met a beautiful lady I never saw again but will never forget; we nestled down on a blanket as the moon came up, and I sat there, first entranced by her, and then absolutely destroyed as Delaney & Bonnie played their set. It was one of the most soul-stirring moments of my life; I can still remember the exhilation they pumped out over the crowd. I would consider my life incomplete without that moment. For me it was a tossup whether Delaney Bramlett or Joe Cocker was the greatest white soul singer of the sixties. Cocker wound up a star (and drunk in my living room once), and Delaney faded away - I don't know why. His voice is much lower and darker now - he sounds like James Brown - but he's still one of the greatest, and so is Bonnie. I wish them both a long life, and I urge you to hear what they do - from back then, til now, they still rock me.


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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Sweet Inspiration, Delaney Bramlett
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