You can’t swing a dead cat in the Way Back Studios without hitting a record by somebody with a connection to Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. Something about their mix of gospel, country, and rock drew famous musicians into their fold like senators to a fund raiser. Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Duane Allman, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, Bobby Whitlock, and so many others. The cast of characters changed so often in fact that they were referred to simply as Delaney and Bonnie and friends. Delaney and Bonnie themselves never sold a lot of records, but their friends sure did. And though the Bramletts never went platinum they and / or the band they formed would go on to be the rhythm section on several million sellers, including Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and All Things Must Pass.
Delaney and Bonnie’s biggest hit was “Never Ending Song of Love” which was on their album Motel Shot from 1971, about eight years before Bonnie either punched or slapped the crap out of Elvis Costello at a Holiday Inn bar in Columbus, Ohio after an admittedly drunk Costello made some disparaging remarks about Ray Charles. But that’s a whole nuther story. Delaney and Bonnie’s second biggest hit was their cover of Dave Mason’s “Only You Know and I Know” and that’s the song at the center of today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, though it started while I was listening to Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard. The last track on side two, “Mainline Florida,” has a drum beat and rhythm that reminded me of “Only You Know and I Know” so we’ll do a little hand mixing between Dave’s and Delaney and Bonnie’s versions of the song along with “Mainline Florida” to see how it works. Be sure to listen to the end of “Mainline Florida” when Eric gets starts getting silly with his wah-wah pedal leading us back to All Things Must Pass. That’s later, but first, the rest of the set is just people passing by, staring in wide wonder, as the inside jukebox roars out just like thunder. Here’s Van Morrison.
|Van Morrison||Wild Night|
|Joni Mitchell||Free Man in Paris|
|Delaney & Bonnie||Only You Know and I Know (part 1)|
|Dave Mason||Only You Know and I Know (part 2)|
|Eric Clapton||Mainline Florida (part 1)|
|Dave Mason||Only You Know and I Know (part 3)|
|Eric Clapton||Mainline Florida (part 2)|
|George Harrison||Wah Wah|
Allegedly written after a fight with Paul who complained that his band mate was over using a certain guitar effect, that’s George Harrison and friends doing “Wah Wah” from All Things Must Pass. And speaking of his friends, take a look at who played on All Things Must Pass and you’ll see a list of musicians who honed their chops playing with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Jim Gordon, Duane Allman, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock. And those are just a few of the influential friends who played with the guy from Pontotoc, MS and his wife out of east St. Louis. In 1970 alone some or all of the Bramlett camp played on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Eric Clapton’s first solo album, and Dave Mason’s Alone Together. And somewhere in the middle of the set we hand mixed Delaney and Bonnie’s version of “Only You Know and I Know” with Dave Mason’s version and then with “Mainline Florida” off Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard.
And speaking of friends, the rest of the set wouldn’t have been the same without Ronnie Montrose who played guitar on a couple of Van Morrison albums. At the top of the set we heard him on “Wild Night” from Tupelo Honey. Joni Mitchell employed her friends from the LA Express and several of the Crusaders on her album Court and Spark. And on “Free Man in Paris,” she got extra help from her pals Jose Feliciano, David Crosby, and Graham Nash. And that was Steve Miller sitting, getting higher in the back of a limousine with his friends Boz Scaggs, Ben Sidren, and Nicky Hopkins. From the album Number Five. A song called “Tokin’s.” That’s all the time we’ve got for stoking the star making machinery behind the popular song here in the Way Back Studios. Thanks for tuning in and by the way, if you’re looking for the set lists or the show commentaries, drop by my website or track me down using your favorite form of social media. I’m Bill Fitzhugh and only you know and I know when I’ll be back with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, and I hope you’ll join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.