Classic Hits & Oldies

CCR’s Cosmo Clifford says his ‘California Gold’ album with Bobby Whitlock was a perfect collaboration

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Cliffsong Records

Last Friday, a collaborative album titled California Gold that Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford recorded in 1978 with one-time Derek & the Dominos member Bobby Whitlock got its release via digital formats.

Clifford produced the 10-track collection, and co-wrote all the songs with Whitlock, while legendary Booker T & the MG’s bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn lent his talents to about half the album.

Clifford tells ABC Audio that the album came together at a time when looking to put together a new band, and Dunn suggested that he contact Whitlock, who sang well and played Hammond B3 organ.

“[Duck] introduced me to Bobby, and we hit it off and started writing songs, and that worked really well,” Cosmo recalls. “We had a good writing team and wrote very easily.”

Clifford continues, “The collaboration was a perfect one. [Bobby] had what I didn’t and I had what he didn’t … [A]nd so we got songs together that we thought would represent us.”

Other musicians who contributed to California Gold included former Graham Central Station guitarist David Vega, another guitarist named Mike O’Neill and bassist Tom Miller.

“It’s a good record,” says Cosmo. “And it has kind of a combination of Delaney & Bonnie [with whom Whitlock previously played] and Creedence and some old blues guys.”

He adds, “I listened to it again … [and] it’s like I’m listening to somebody else … And I’m going, ‘Wow, these guys are pretty good. I wonder who they are. Oh, that’s us.'”

Clifford explains that the album initially got shelved because before the project was completed, Dunn wound up joining The Blues Brothers, while Whitlock decided to move away from the Bay Area.

Cosmo says he recently rediscovered the recordings while “doing a little spring cleaning” trough his archives.

Here’s California Gold‘s track list:

“Good Times”
“Get Down Fever”
“It Ain’t Like Mama Told Me”
“Turn the Beat Around”
“On Hold Again”
“Purple Mountain”
“It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn”
“Do or Die”
“I’m Happy Just Being Alive”
“Rollin’ On”

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