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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" -EPISODE # 30 - " TALENTED AND TORTURED" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "MOTEL SHOT" By DELANEY AND BONNIE IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE- GEMS FROM CB'S 8 TRACK TREASURE CHEST!

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” -EPISODE # 30

THE CAPTAIN DIGS INTO HIS TREASURE TROVE OF 8 TRACKS TO DELIVER GEMS, INSIGHT AND JOY!

“TALENTED AND TORTURED

MOTEL SHOT by Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (Atco, 1971)

Delaney Bramlett died in 2008 at the age of 69, and one of his obituaries describes him as a “Southern Legend,” and, I guess that’s true, but he remains a “musician’s musician,” steadfastly obscure, despite some meteoric, early hype. And today, some probably might only remember him as a Southern-Fried Svengali to his dynamic, super sexy, whiskey-throated partner, Bonnie Bramlett, nee O’Farrell, now Sheridan.

Back in ’69, when Delaney & Bonnie & Friends first went on the road at the behest of Eric Clapton, to be an opening act for his famously over-hyped “Super Group” Blind Faith, their names were suddenly on everybody’s lips. They seemed to come out of nowhere, but, to assume that would be a mistake. Delaney cut his teeth in the Shindig House band, The Shindogs, rubbing shoulders with such other up and comers as Jackie DeShannon and Mac Davis. Then, his career prospects took a serendipitous turn towards sweet redemption, when he met, and immediately married, Bonnie.

They recorded their first album for Stax, Home, which went unnoticed; then they signed with Elektra (Accept No Substitutes) – again, not much happened. EXCEPT – they caught the eye of George Harrison, who signed them to a contract with Apple Records, (which, unfortunately, was voided, due to the group’s unresolved issues with Elektra). But, this is where the Deus Ex-Machina, Clapton appears, gets them to Atco, and everything explodes.

The album that documented their association with EC, “On Tour” (1970), put them on the intelligentsia’s radar, but almost immediately after, following this success, cocaine, and physical abuse caused the union with Bonnie to splinter. Bonnie splits, leaving her kids with Delaney and his mom, and Delaney flounders. But, to his credit, he never gave up the ghost; he continued to write, produce, and record his entire life, albeit with little payback.

Motel Shot, recorded in the studio, but meant to recreate late night, motel jam sessions, boasts an astounding roster of “guests”, including Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Duane Allman, Dave Mason, John Hartford, Clarence White, and Gram Parsons. It is widely regarded as their finest recorded moment, and I believe you’ll find it goes down real easy, anytime, day or night. Gospel, Country, Blues are all rendered in spare, acoustic magnificence. And, to boot, the album contains their biggest single chart hit, the much covered, “Never Ending Song of Love”, Delaney’s own composition.

So, I’d say that the desired effect of unaffected intimacy, so difficult to capture, was masterfully achieved on this obscure gem.

“Where the Soul Never Dies” (Traditional) “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (A. P. Carter) “Rock of Ages” (Traditional) “Long Road Ahead” (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Carl Radle) “Faded Love” (Bob Wills, Johnnie Wills) “Talkin’ about Jesus” (Traditional) “Come On In My Kitchen” (Robert Johnson) “Don’t Deceive Me (Please Don’t Go)” (Chuck Willis) “Never Ending Song of Love” (Delaney Bramlett) “Sing My Way Home” (Delaney Bramlett) “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” (Traditional, Delaney Bramlett) “Lonesome and a Long Way from Home” (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell)


By Rich Buckland 10/10/2021 12:10 PM

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