Delbert McClinton Will Perform Free Concert In Downtown FDL

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) announced Texas great Delbert McClinton will perform in downtown Fond du Lac August 12.

The free street concert is possible because of the generosity of a community advocate.

THELMA’s free music series has become a “must-do” event with over 6,000 people attending 11 Thursdays of Summer @ THELMA, and the street concerts last summer. All of THELMA’s outdoor concerts are free.

THELMA soon will be announcing the acts to perform for the 11 Thursdays of Summer from June 15 to August 24.

Delbert McClinton is considered a master among Texas music aficionados, rock artists (he gave harp lessons to a young John Lennon), blues experts, and critics. McClinton is highly respected, not only for the incredible longevity of his career but for his ability to meld genres into his own style. Blues, jazz, and country influences are found in all his music.

McClinton has won three Grammy Awards.

Born in Lubbock, Texas and later moving to Fort Worth, he learned from some of the best, backing blues legends Jimmy Reed and Freddie King. At the age of 22, he traveled to England with Bruce Channel to play the harmonica. The Beatles were opening for them. John Lennon and McClinton became friends.

“John wanted me to give him some tips on harmonica,” McClinton said. “The story’s been romanticized. I didn’t really teach him. I showed him what I did. When to suck and when to blow.  Nothing really more than that. Although it was a moment in time.”

McClinton continued his career in Texas, then Los Angeles before moving to Nashville and signing with ABC Records. There he released his first solo project, Victim of Life’s Circumstances. His success continued, including a Top 10 hit, “Givin’ It Up For Your Love.”

McClinton won his first Grammy in 1991 for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, “Good Man, Good Woman.” The following year, he collaborated with Melissa Etheridge, Tom Petty and Tanya Tucker.

He won his other two Grammys about a decade later.

McClinton credits his more than six decades in the business to his musical versatility. He has managed to stay ahead of the curve – rather than just riding the wave of musical popularity. The blues and jazz laden “Prick Of The Litter” – his latest album is another example of this.

Influences of Johnny Mercer, Nat King Cole and other crooners sets the stage for McClinton’s weathered vocal which has only gotten sweeter with time.

McClinton will be performing with his working band, Self-Made Men which include Bob Britt (guitar), Kevin McKendree (keyboards), Mike Joyce (bass), Jack Bruno (drums), and Quentin Ware (trumpet).

The concert is set for Saturday, August 12 at 7 pm. The block in front of THELMA, Sheboygan Street, from Marr to Portland streets, will be closed to traffic. There will be a cash bar.