Delbert McClinton chuckles when asked about the title of his 26th album, Tall, Dark, & Handsome, out Friday (July 26) via Thirty Tigers. The idea had been stirring in him since he bought artwork overseas some two decades ago.
“Have you tried to name anything these days? Think about it,” he tells Billboard, noting the album cover features not only the name but a replica of the actual artwork that McClinton bought in Sweden in the 1990s. “I’ve had them in my house ever since. I was walking by them one day, and thought “Tall, Dark, and Handsome.” I don’t think that’s a title that people won’t forget.”
Musically, the legendary 78-year old Texan has been making unforgettable music for decades. He credits the vitality of the new project to his collaborators and a little South of the Border mojo. “A lot of that goes to the guys I’ve been working with the last five years. We also used some different writers here. On ‘Ruby and Jules,’ that piano is Dennis Wage, and he gives it a totally different style. I love the ‘Pink Panther’ feel to it. I’m a big fan of all of these guys. I’ve got a home down in Mexico, and we’ll get three or four people at a time, go down there and spend a week-to-10 days, eat a lot of good food, enjoy the weather, and sit and make up stuff, which makes for a pretty good gig.”