Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Delaney & Bonnie & Friends With Eric Clapton: On Tour [Atco, 1970]
Delaney & Bonnie are what would happen to rock and roll if it were capable of growing up--maybe they're what would happen to this country if it were capable of growing up. Whites so down-home their soul inflections sound inbred, they sing of love like teens of yore, but even though their love is quite physical it's been weathered spiritually and morally. No wonder Eric Clapton found their youthful fun and mature equanimity an antidote to the formless pretensions of Cream and Blind Faith. He certainly contributes--whenever the voices don't quite carry the one-take live performances, there he is with a terse, punchy solo that adds just the right note of strength and understanding. Nice that he's got Dave Mason (and Delaney himself) to help out. And nice that they all pay their respects to Robert Johnson and Little Richard. A-