Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Delaney Bonnie And Friends - Motel Shot (1971 us, spiritual rhythm 'n' blues jam rock, 2017 remastered and expanded)

The magic of the late-night jam session is one of those rock & roll legends that, much like Bigfoot, doesn't have a lot of concrete evidence to support it. But Delaney & Bonnie believed in it strongly enough to try to put one on tape. Released in 1971, Motel Shot was intended to document the sound and vibe of the after-show jams that Mr. and Mrs. Bramlett often took part in while on the road. After an attempt to record one such jam in the living room of recording engineer Bruce Botnick, Delaney & Bonnie and their friends ended up doing it over again in a recording studio. But if Motel Shot doesn't seem as spontaneous as the principals wanted it to be, it does have a loose, playful feel that's honestly winning. 

The performances are almost entirely acoustic, and the set is dominated by traditional blues, gospel, and country standards that this crew could ease into comfortably and bend to their moods. Given that Delaney & Bonnie's friends for these sessions included Duane Allman, Leon Russell, John Hartford, Dave Mason, Gram Parsons, and Joe Cocker, it's no great surprise that this material is significantly more accomplished that most folks' musical goofing around, even if Jim Keltner is just slapping an empty box instead of playing a drum kit. And Delaney & Bonnie are both in fine voice on Motel Shot, passionate but very much in the moment, while the gospel jam of "Takin' About Jesus" features some powerful vocal interplay between Bonnie and Cocker. You can't plan a moment of spontaneous brilliance, but Delaney & Bonnie were just smart enough to know their muse didn't like to be forced, and Motel Shot is an admirable compromise between a 2 a.m. guitar pull and an acoustic studio session, and it was also their last truly effective album. 
by Mark Deming
1. Where the Soul Never Dies (Traditional) - 3:24
2. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (A. P. Carter) - 2:42
3. Rock of Ages (Traditional) - 2:17
4. Long Road Ahead (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Carl Radle) - 3:25
5. Faded Love (Bob Wills, Johnnie Wills) - 4:03
6. Talkin' about Jesus (Traditional) - 6:51
7. Come On In My Kitchen (Robert Johnson) - 2:43
8. Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go) (Chuck Willis) - 3:52
9. Never Ending Song of Love (Delaney Bramlett) - 3:20
10.Sing My Way Home (Delaney Bramlett) - 4:02
11.Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad (Traditional, Delaney Bramlett) - 5:09
12.Lonesome and a Long Way from Home (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 3:58
13.I've Told You For The Last Time (Eric Clapton) - 4:19
14.Long Road Ahead (Alternate Take) (Bonnie Bramlett, Carl Radle, Delaney Bramlett) - 3:34
15.Gift Of Love (Delaney Bramlett, Mac Davis) - 2:16
16.Come On In My Kitchen (Alternate Take) (Robert Johnson) - 3:12
17.Blues (Delaney Bramlett) - 5:38
18.Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (Alternate Take) (Bonnie Bramlett, Delaney Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 5:23
19.What A Friend We Have In Jesus (Joseph Scriven) - 2:51
20.Farther Along (Jesse Randall Baxter) - 3:40

*Delaney Bramlett - Guitar, Vocals
*Bonnie Bramlett - Vocals
*Duane Allman - Slide Guitar
*Ben Benay - Guitar
*Kenny Gradney - Bass Guitar
*John Hartford - Banjo, Fiddle
*Eddie James - Guitar
*Jim Keltner - Drums
*Bobby Keys - Saxophone
*Dave Mason - Guitar
*Gram Parsons - Guitar, Vocals
*Carl Radle - Bass Guitar
*Joe Cocker - Backing Vocals
*Leon Russell - Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
*Clarence White - Guitar, Vocals
*Bobby Whitlock - Vocals
*Jay York - Backing Vocals

1969-72  Delaney, Bonnie And Friends - D 'n' B Together (2003 extra tracks remaster) 

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