Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel — Saxon Pub — January 5, 2013
While many of Austin venues were advertising the annual Free Week in January, a number of us were willing to pay a little more than usual to see Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel play at their usual spot, The Saxon Pub. They don’t normally play Saturday night, but it was a great idea. And the place was full.
Bobby, as probably everyone knows, was an integral part of the Derek and the Dominoes Layla and Assorted Love Songs legacy recording, and one I’ve literally played over the years to the point of wearing out — on both the album and CD versions. It was a regular spin on the home front, and went on most every road trip too. Bobby is credited with co-writing 5 of the great classic songs, and writing the last song, Thorn Tree in the Garden. He was about 21 at the time, “as best as he can recall”.
He was also a key band member on George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” recording. And Whitlock’s early history also included time with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, as one of the original “Friends”.
And early is when he started, still in his teens, and unafraid to travel the country and the world.
His wife since 2005, and friend since the time he met Delaney, CoCo Carmel, is an amazing talent, singing, and playing sax and guitar. Tonight they were joined by Jeff Plankenhorn on guitar, Jimmy Pettit on bass, and Brannen Temple on drums. Familiar faces. Sounded great.
During this – his 285th show at The Saxon – we were able to listen to most of the Layla classics, such as Tell the Truth, Bell Bottom Blues, Key to the Highway, and a finale of Layla. Other songs were interspersed, mainly from their newest CD, Esoteric, produced by CoCo. I particularly liked Nobody Knows and Just Another Mountain.
Stories were certainly part of it all, including reliving the treasured memory of the night when Bobby wrote To Tell The Truth, with Eric Clapton both sleeping – and writing the 3rd verse – from upstairs!
Often Bobby speaks of the universe, and the love within it. And while in his presence, it’s a truly good feeling, which is passed on to us all. We’re already looking forward to their next show, and are hoping they’ll do another couple hundred more.