Streams: Bobby Whitlock and Coco Carmel, “Tell the Truth” from Carnival: Live in Austin (2013)

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Sample a scorching live version of “Tell the Truth” from former Derek and the Dominos keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Whitlock and his wife CoCo Carmel. The tune was co-written by Whitlock and Eric Clapton for the Dominos’ celebrated debut Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and will be available as the closing song on a new concert recording called Carnival: Live in Austin on June 25, 2013.

Whitlock famously composed “Tell the Truth” during an all-night session, with Clapton trying for a fruitless night of sleep one floor below. Whitlock told us, in an exclusive SER Sitdown, that he’d had Otis Redding in mind as he howled the song’s tortured chorus — complete with “a lime-green suit,” Whitlock said, “down on his knees.” Once Clapton joined in as co-composer, he already knew the contours of the song, having heard Whitlock singing it throughout the previous night.

An early version of “Tell the Truth,” far more upbeat, was completed during the Phil Spector-led sessions for George Harrison’s 1970 debut opus All Things Must Pass, featuring the still-coalescing Dominos, before Whitlock, Clapton and Co. put down the simmering take that eventually found its way into the Layla-era repertoire.

Carnival, recorded and produced by Carmel, also includes Dominos classics like “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad,” “Got to Get Better” and “Keep On Growing”; along a new take on the band’s reworking of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” Whitlock contributes originals like “It’s Not the End of the World,” which are paired with Whitlock/Carmel collaborations including “John the Revelator” as well as Carmel’s “Nobody Knows,” a key moment from their most recent album, 2012’s Esoteric.

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