Friday, August 9, 2013

Bobby Whitlock “Where There’s A Will There’s A Way: The ABC Dunhill Recordings”

(Light in the Attic) This handsome package remasters and reissues two early 70s solo records that if people know them at all they know them because the cats Whitlock backed up in the past (Clapton and George Harrison) returned some favors. But these deserve to be more than asterisks on someone else’s discography. The first album, self titled, sees the Memphisian at his best, soul shouting over country rock (or, more accurately, country gospel rock). Whitlock’s throaty robust vocals match the 70s studio bombast note for note, when they don’t conquer and overpower it. The 2nd LP, “Raw Velvet,” rocks harder (bringing some actual Southern Rock to the West Coast country rock sound) with some off-roading into swamp rock. These boundry-blurring excursions are a pretty perfect solution to the anomaly that is and always will be “white boy soul,” and this addresses many of that concept’s inherent problems in ways Justin and Thicke could still learn from.

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