Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Delaney & Bonnie and Friends – "Comin' Home" (1969)

I'm comin’ home
To your love

Delaney Bramlett moved from Pontotoc County, Mississippi, to Los Angeles in 1959 and became a session musician.  He eventually was hired to play in the Shindogs, which was the house band for the ABC-TV series, Shindig!  Other Shindogs included Glen Campbell, Billy Preston, and Leon Russell.  

In 1967, Delaney married Bonnie Lynn O’Farrell, a talented young singer from Illinois who had once been a backup singer for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.  She was the first white Ikette, but disguised her race with the help of a black wig and “Man Tan” skin darkener.

The couple then formed Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, which included Russell and other session veterans like Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, Bobby Keys, Jim Price, Jim Keltner and Rita Coolidge.  (Take a look at the credits on the Derek and the Dominoes album, and Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main St., and All Things Must Pass, and The Concert for Bangladesh, and other classic rock albums from that era, and you’ll see those names over and over.)

Delaney and Bonnie got their big break when Eric Clapton invited them to be the opening act for the one and only Blind Faith tour.  Clapton seemed to enjoy playing with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends more than he did with Blind Faith, and recorded a live album with them that was very successful.

That album – titled On Tour with Eric Clapton – featured not only Clapton but also George Harrison and Dave Mason.

L to R: Clapton, Bonnie, Delaney, Harrison
Delaney & Bonnie and Friends sort of ran out of steam after that.  The group released its last studio album in 1972, and the couple got divorced the next year.

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I think Delaney & Bonnie’s best song was “Comin’ Home.”  

A studio version of that song was released as a single in 1969, but pooped out at the #84 spot on the Billboard “Hot 100.”  There’s a live version of “Comin’ Home” on the On Tour with Eric Clapton album.  Both versions are great.  

I think redneck soul reached its epitome with “Comin’ Home,” although you can make a case for Leon Russell’s “Delta Lady.”

(Does the term “redneck soul” bother you?  Excuse me all to pieces.) 

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I don’t need an excuse to feature “Comin’ Home,” but I’ve got one.  

The B-side of the “Comin’ Home” single was a song called “Groupie (Superstar),” which was later covered by a number of other well-known female singers. 

The next several 2 or 3 lines posts will feature the original recording and several of the covers – including one that was a big hit for an artist who sounded nothing like Bonnie Bramlett.

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Here’s the studio version of “Comin’ Home”:

And here’s a video of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends – including George Harrison and Eric Clapton – performing the song live:

You can click below to buy the studio version from Amazon:

Or you can click below to buy the live On Tour with Eric Clapton version:

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