Eric Clapton's Crashocaster, Fender Custom Stratocaster Guitar (www.edroman.com)
Crossroads Revisited: Selections From The Crossroads Guitar Festivals was just released by Rhino Records on three jam packed CDs containing nearly four hours of live performances. It features Eric Clapton and special guests including Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, B.B. King, James Taylor, Vince Gill, J.J. Cale, Sonny Landreth, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Steve Winwood, ZZ Top, Earl Klugh, Gary Clark Jr., Keb’ Mo’, Warren Haynes, Jonny Lang, Ronnie Wood, Steve Cropper, Keith Urban, and (believe it or not) many more. The set has been compiled from the festivals that have been held in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. All four festivals have been previously released on DVD and blu-ray, but this is the first time that these recordings have been made available on CD.
The format for these concerts is that the guests come out and perform either alone or (mostly) in combination with the other guests and/or Clapton. This gives rise to some priceless combinations, like Steve Winwood and Clapton performing "Presence Of The Lord", reprising their association in Blind Faith, the quintessential super group. Clapton also joins Winwood on his signature Traffic tune "Dear Mr. Fantasy". Although Winwood is a talented multi-instrumentalist, it seems to me that he is better known for his keyboard prowess especially on the Hammond B3 organ. As you can see in the video below, Winwood is here as a guitar player and when he picks up his Stratocaster he more than holds his own with Clapton.
Each concert also has a solo set from Clapton. One shining example here is "Cocaine". I've included the video so you can see Clapton grace this JJ Cale composition with the same kind of blistering solo that caused legions of fans worldwide to deify him back in the 1960s when he was a member of Cream. And it's not just on this track; Clapton plays like that throughout. If you ever listened to Clapton and thought, "I'd really like to hear him let loose on electric guitar," your dreams have been answered.
With a guest list like this, cool collaborations abound. Just read the track list below; the priceless performances get even more so when they feature iconic guitar players who are no longer with us. Clapton has worshipped the music of JJ Cale for over forty-five years. Cale's composition "After Midnight" gave Clapton his first top ten single. In addition to "Cocaine", Cale also wrote "Tulsa Time". To commemorate Cale, a few years ago Clapton recorded a beautiful tribute album that included many similar minded musicians, like Mark Knopfler, who share Clapton's affinity for Cale. Watch the video below and see Clapton and Cale perform "After Midnight" from the 2004 festival. B.B. King is also no longer with us but he is well represented on Crossroads Revisited with three performances, appearing with Robert Cray and others.
The Crossroads Guitar Festivals were charitable events with money going to support the Crossroads Centre, a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Antigua, which was started by Clapton. Here's what Clapton has to say about the Crossroads Centre.
A letter from our founder, Mr. Eric Clapton
Photo by Norman Watson
For many years I have visited Antigua, the beautiful Caribbean island located in the heart of the West Indies. Antigua has always been a special refuge – a safe place, a serene place where one can begin the process of healing from even the most devastating events and life situations.
As a recovering addict and alcoholic, many people over the years spoke with me about the problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse on the island. Subsequently, around 1993, I began to speak with more and more people about the possibility of founding a Centre on the island for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. There was certainly a need, and so the dream and the vision were born.
My vision was to create a Centre of the highest caliber to treat people of the Caribbean and throughout the world. The Centre would be staffed with experienced and internationally recognized professionals. The cost of treatment would be held to the lowest possible level, ensuring affordability and accessibility. And most importantly, this non-profit Centre would provide treatment scholarships for people of the Caribbean region and around the world.
Well, this vision became a reality and Crossroads opened its doors to the world in 1998. Since then it has quickly developed into an internationally recognized Treatment Centre of Excellence, providing services to individuals and their families suffering from the devastating effects of addiction.
Crossroads is like no other Treatment Centre. It is the perfect place to begin the road of recovery and utilizes a combination of effective therapies to address addiction and recovery, while capturing the spiritual serenity that many have found unique to Antigua. Within the serene, healing atmosphere individuals participate in a structured residential 12 step based program that allows clients to experience a whole person wellness approach to recovery.
We believe that the majority of individuals suffering from addiction have the capacity for recovery if given the proper foundation to begin their journey. At Crossroads we help provide that foundation.
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From Disc 1: Watch Eric Clapton with JJ Cale - "After Midnight" 2004
Sweet Home Chicago – Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, & Jimmie Vaughan (2004)
Rock Me Baby – Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, & Jimmie Vaughan (2004)
Steam Roller – James Taylor with Joe Walsh (2004)
What The Cowgirls Do – Vince Gill with Jerry Douglas (2004)
After Midnight – J.J. Cale with Eric Clapton (2004)
Green Light Girl – Doyle Bramhall II (2004)
Hell At Home – Sonny Landreth with Eric Clapton (2007)
City Love – John Mayer (2004)
Funk 49 – Joe Walsh (2004)
Drums Of Passion (Jingo) – Carlos Santana with Eric Clapton (2004)
Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers – Jeff Beck (2007)
Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Blues In C) – Eric Clapton (2004)
Layla – Eric Clapton (2004)
From Disc 2: Watch Eric Clapton - "Cocaine" 2004
Little By Little – Susan Tedeschi with The Derek Trucks Band (2007)
Poor Johnny – The Robert Cray Band (2007)
Paying The Cost To Be The Boss – B.B. King with The Robert Cray Band, Jimmie Vaughan, & Hubert Sumlin (2007)
Tulsa Time – Sheryl Crow with Eric Clapton, Vince Gill, & Albert Lee (2007)
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson with Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, & Albert Lee (2007)
Isn’t It A Pity – Eric Clapton (2007)
Belief – John Mayer (2007)
Mas Y Mas – Los Lobos (2007)
Big Block – Jeff Beck (2007)
Presence Of The Lord – Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton (2007)
Cocaine – Eric Clapton (2004)
Waiting For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago – ZZ Top (2010)
Don’t Owe You A Thang – Gary Clark Jr. (2010)
Bright Lights – Gary Clark Jr. (2010)
From Disc 3: Watch Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton - "Dear Mr. Fantasy" 2010
Our Love Is Fading – Sheryl Crow with Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II, & Gary Clark Jr. (2010)
Lay Down Sally – Vince Gill with Sheryl Crow, Keb’ Mo’, Albert Lee, James Burton, & Earl Klugh (2010)
Space Captain – Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band with Warren Haynes, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, & Chris Stainton (2010)
Hammerhead – Jeff Beck (2010)
Five Long Years – Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang & Ronnie Wood (2010)
Hear My Train A Comin’ – Doyle Bramhall II (2010)
Dear Mr. Fantasy – Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton (2010)
Born Under A Bad Sign – Booker T. with Steve Cropper, Keb’ Mo’, Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, & Albert Lee (2013)
Everyday I Get The Blues – The Robert Cray Band with B.B. King, Eric Clapton, & Jimmie Vaughan (2013)
Please Come Home – Gary Clark Jr. (2013)
Tumbling Dice – Vince Gill with Keith Urban & Albert Lee (2013)
I Shot The Sheriff – Eric Clapton (2010)
Watch "Lay Down Sally" from 2010 featuring Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Keb' Mo', Albert Lee, James Burton, and Earl Klugh
Watch Eric Clapton tribute his friend George Harrison by doing George's "Isn't It A Pity" in 2007
Eric Clapton's Website
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