Bobby Whitlock exclusively talks to YWTM to reveal the stories behind the songs on Esoteric:
I stayed out of the way of CoCo as she let that creative thing flow thru. It was quite an experience for me to stand back and not become a part of the production or mixing of anything. I have always been hands on with everything that I have ever done. I probably should have done it sooner. Stand aside that is. Who knows? At any rate, this is as fine a recording as any that I have ever been a part of. And I have been a part of some very fine recordings. CoCo’s production stands right there neck to neck and toe to toe with them all! I am sure that you will enjoy this as much as I did playing my role in it~BW~
Devil Blues~In your face with CoCo’s incredible sax right off the bat! This song was written by both of us and it is one of substance, with a message we all could use from time to time I guess. Rebuking satan. Temptation is around every corner in this world. Brannen lays it in the pocket as always and CoCo is playing bass guitar. I am playing my slide guitar with a chorus effect. It seems to lend itself to this song. CoCo is the very best when it comes to background vocals. Hers tell a part of and completes the story of the song~
Time For Letting Go~It takes a long time to get used to life without a love that you once had. You have to let go and get on with your life with that void. I was and am still trying to comes to terms with losing my Romeo. This song was a part of my healing.
Love is love is love is love~The ending of this cooks! CoCo left in everything right thru to the final note. It gives a true perspective as to just what is was that just happened.
John The Revelator~CoCo suggested that I do this song some time ago. I listened to some different versions of it, including both Sun House and Blind Willie Jefferson and could never make anything of it. To me a song has to tell a story and have a beginning and and ending. And it is most imperative that it has meaning. I could not make any sense of any that I heard so I decided to write my own version. I took a line from Son’s version that I could understand and did the same with Blind Willie. The rest came from that place where it always comes from. The infinite invisible. This is a great example of how CoCo takes her background vocals and completes the picture of the story. That was her role in the creation of this. The background vocals are as important as the song itself because they are, a part of the story of the song~
CoCo is playing the teiko drum on this. I am playing my original Hammond B3 organ. The organ that I learned to play on when I was a teenager. I love it when Brannen kicks this thing in. He is one of the finest drummers on the planet~
Nobody Knows~CoCo’s song and one of my favorite! I came back from doing some errands one day and she had put the rhythm guitar down with a little drum pattern under it. She asked what I thought and I said let me put a piano on it. And it kept going and going. Brannen’s drum part is perfect! And she sings her butt off!!
Just Another Mountain~This song is a healing song for me. I have dealt with anxiety and panic attacks all of my life. The message in this song is the healing agent~
River Of Life~Just another song that poured out. Excuse the pun. The guitar that I played on this is like something that you would hear on the sountrack of a Pink Panther movie. I’m smiling right now~
Roll On~CoCo and I both come from backgrounds that made gypsies of us. Hers being a military background and mine that of being the son of a southern baptist preacher. We were always on the move. And so have CoCo and I been ever since we got together. Simply because we didn’t know where we belonged. That was until we came to Austin, Texas. This song came from a thought of leaving here and moving back to California one time. Keyword ‘thought’. There just ain’t no place like home, to be sure!~
What Happened To Love~CoCo wrote these lyrics one day and asked what I thought of them. I asked her where were the originals that she first wrote down. She gave them to me and all I did was to put them all together and re-arrange them all and start singing what was in front of me~
Good Woman Blues~I am sure that CoCo will be every woman’s champion with this song~There ain’t nothing like a good woman with the blues~
Castles In The Wind~Our little white Jack-Russell Eddie loves to find a little slice of sun as it comes thru the window and beams across the floor. She was just lying there in the sun one day and I just started sing to her and about her.That’s exactly how that song came to be. There’s something about me and dogs and cats. I just don’t know what it is. Love, that’s it! Unconditional love~
It’s Not The End Of The World~A song of circumstance telling it like it is and was and should always be. There’s always a brighter tomorrow~
Changing Faces~WhenCoCo was working on finishing up our recording she had to have absolute quiet to do so. That takes some doing with me around. So I had to start doing my thing at the other end of the house so as not to disturb her while she was completing her mixes. I was in our kitchen at the table with my guitar in my lap looking out the skylites of it. There are lots of windows and a very tall ceiling and you can see all of the trees dancing in the wind. I started singing ever so quietly as I was watching the trees dancing. This song found me a new voice. I played it for CoCo after she finished what she was doing not knowing what she might think of it and my new voice. It is her favorite on this CD. When we recorded it she let me sing it only once. As a matter of fact just about everything that I did on the recording was the first take. That includes all of my guitar work. She wanted to keep it fresh and it doesn’t get and more fresh than first take. I have the time of my life playing and singing with my darling CoCo Carmel. What a Light she is!
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