15 Sep 13
Bobby Whitlock, most famously known as a member of Derek & The Dominos alongside Eric Clapton, has had his first two solo albums released on a single CD by Future Days Records, an imprint of Light In The Attic. Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings features 21 digitally remastered tracks from his self-titled debut and Raw Velvet, both released in 1972. A veritable Who’s Who of the era sat in on the sessions: Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Chris Wood of Traffic, plus Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett to name check a few.
Bobby was born in Tennessee and raised in abject poverty. Singing and piano playing were his salvation. Winding up at Stax Records in Memphis while still a teen, he was signed to their pop label, HIP. But it was soul music, not pop, that was in his heart. His real break came when Stax recording artists Delaney & Bonnie asked him to join their band, the Friends.
With Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, he began crossing paths with rock royalty. They went on tour with Blind Faith, where Eric Clapton enjoyed the camaraderie of The Friends and their high level of musicianship. Bobby became part of Eric Clapton’s next project, Derek & The Dominos, along with two other “Friends” – Jim Gordon and Carl Radle. The four musicians recorded Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs after having backed George Harrison on much of All Things Must Pass.
While still with the Dominos, Bobby began working on his first album in March 1971 with his co-producer, Andy Johns. When presented it to his label, they rejected it, citing a different artistic vision for his debut. He bought himself out of his contract and moved on. Not long after, the Dominos split during troubled sessions for their Layla follow-up. Bobby eventually found a two-record deal via Jimmy Miller, who was producing Exile on Main Street for The Rolling Stones (Bobby was a part of those sessions). His second album, Raw Velvet, was produced by Miller and featured the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the L.A. Symphony, plus his new band members: Rick Vito on guitar, Keith Ellis on bass and Don Poncher on drums.
Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings comes with a 40 page booklet. Along with numerous photos from Bobby’s personal collection, there is an extensive essay by music historian and author, Marc Roberty. The album is also available digitally from Amazon and iTunes.
Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings
01. Where There’s a Will – features Eric Clapton and George Harrison on guitar
02. Song for Paula
03. A Game Called Life
04. Country Life
05. A Day Without Jesus – features Eric Clapton and George Harrison on guitar
06. Back in My Life Again – features Eric Clapton and George Harrison on guitar
07. The Scenery Has Slowly Changed – features Eric Clapton on guitar
08. I’d Rather Live the Straight Life
09. The Dreams of a Hobo
10. Back Home in England
11. Tell the Truth
12. Bustin’ My Ass
13. Write You a Letter
14. Ease Your Pain
15. If You Ever
16. Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham – features Eric Clapton on guitar and bass
17. You Came Along
18. Think About It
20. Dearest I Wonder
21. Start All Over
Bobby also has a new live album out. Recorded with his wife and musical partner, CoCo Carmel, Carnival – Live In Austin features tracks from their 2012 studio album, Esoteric, along with some covers and few Derek & The Dominos tracks tossed in for good measure. It was released this past June.