Delbert McClinton's last album, Nothing Personal, was a certifiable hit, both critically and commercially.

Delbert McClinton's last album, Nothing Personal, was a certifiable hit, both critically and commercially. It would be a challenge for some artists to follow such a terrific success, but this is Delbert McClinton, for whom cutting cool tracks is business as usual. He's got a good boogie number with "Blues About You Baby" and a truly anthemic Texas country nugget, "Lone Star Blues," complete with an all-star Texas choir, including Joe Ely, Marcia Ball, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and Butch Hancock. McClinton knows few peers as a honky-tonk lyricist, and he's reinforced that perception with "Won't Be Me," "The Rub," "Ain't Lost Nothin'," and "Money Honey." "Smooth Talk" is a cautionary tale cloaked in a tasty R&B/funk groove. McClinton finishes the deal with a snazzy jump blues titled "New York City." Room to Breathe swings.—PVV

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