All Photos By Arnie Goodman
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Whitlock and his wife Coco Carmel, who plays multiple instruments herself, transformed B.B. King’s into an intimate setting last night, inviting their guests to an evening of music and stories from one of the greats. Godfrey Townsend performed in the opening act, and also as the sideman with Bobby and Coco.
Bobby’s style of singing and playing perfectly captured the sound Derek and the Dominos. In between songs, Bobby told stories of the times when he would stay up all night experimenting with various guitar tunings with Eric Clapton, and about their song writing processes. Bobby played songs that had the audience up and cheering, including “River of Life,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Was it Something That I Said” and the album title song “Layla.” Instead of playing either the acoustic or electric version of “Layla,” they played both, alternating at appropriate times between the different styles.
Bobby met Eric Clapton when they played together on Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Bobby and Eric soon split off into Derek and the Dominos with bassist Carl Radle. Bobby also met ex-Beatle George Harrison, who asked him to play on “All Things Must Pass.” leaving Derek and the Dominos, Bobby made a few solo albums, finally settling down in Austin, Texas, where he’s been ever since. Bobby and Coco decided to start their “Just Us Tour” in 2015, which will appear in 11 cities, featuring a different guitarist in each city. For New York City, Godfrey Townsend fit in perfectly.
The evening was one of great music and stories– definitely a night to remember.
– Stanley Abraham