Thursday, 29 October 2009

Eric Clapton: Recovering From Surgery

As previously reported, British guitarist Eric Clapton had to step out of an October 23 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert at New York's Madison Square Garden due to a medical procedure needed to remove stones from his gallbladder. Clapton's publicist currently told BBC News that he is successfully recovering from the operation and that he "remains committed" to dates at London's O2 Arena in February. Clapton was replaced at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gig by buddy guitarist Jeff Beck, with whom he'll play at the O2 Arena dates.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Eric Clapton: Cancels appearance at Rock Hall 25th anniversary concert

The two night 25th anniversary concert as the complete lineup for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at Madison Square Garden continues to unfold, one major player will be missing.
Eric Clapton, originally scheduled to perform on Friday, October 30th, has cancelled his appearance due to a medical procedure for gall stones, according to a press release from the Hall of Fame.
Clapton willl spend time recuperating at his home in the UK.
Just this week, the Hall of Fame added legendary rockers John Fogerty and Ray Davies to the all star lineup.
Bluesmen B.B. King and Buddy Guy were added last week along with several others. Guy, was slated to perform with Clapton.
Major acts such as U2, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Aretha Franklin, Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Still and Nash will perform with particular guests.
The Rock Hall says its working hard on a replacement for Clapton's segment.
Might I suggest, Sir Paul McCartney?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Backless - Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton issued Backless twelve months after the release of his classic, Slowhand, and while it may not have had the consistent brillence of that album, it was still very good.
The cover photo says a lot about this release. A relaxed of its footage and laid back Clapton strumming his guitar. The music would likewise be a mostly mellow collection of various styles and traditions as the best songs run the gamut from rock to blues, even to country.
Old country tune is "Tulsa Time" that receives a rocking adaptation by Clapton and may be the album's best track. It was released as a single in the United States and deserved better than just cracking the top thirty. “Watch Out For Lucy” is another straight rock time and has a primitive bar sound as Clapton cranks up his old guitar for some of his classic playing.
“Promises” which did become a U.S. top ten single is a subtle song with subdued vocals and some understated slide guitar. It almost has a country flavor as the vocals explore relationships.
Clapton returns to the blues with the traditional “Early In The Morning.” He is always at home with a slow blues song and at eight minutes he has room for a couple of guitar solos and tempo changes. A contribution by Bob Dylan, “Walk Out In The Rain” is another bluesy, mid-tempo track, this one yielding an excellent Clapton vocal.
One surprising failure was the J.J. Cale penned “I’ll Make Love To You Anytime.” After the brilliance of “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” this one is just a little too laid back.
Backless is overall just a step below Clapton’s best work. It has stood the test of time well and remains a good listen three-plus decades after its release.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Eric Clapton - Slowhand

After two mellow, laid back, and in some ways lackluster efforts, Eric Clapton returned in May of 1977 with one of the strongest releases of his solo career. If I had to pick the ten best solo songs of his career the first three tracks of this album would all make the list. Slowhand was embraced by old and new fans alike and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it among the 500 best albums of all time.
Clapton’s guitar playing virtuosity is very evident here as it dominates the sound. The choice of master producer Glyn Johns was a wise one as the album has production values and a balance that were missing on his past solo efforts.
The J.J. Cale song, “Cocaine,” begins the album on a ringing note. Great chords and riffs propel this anti drug song. Rock ‘n’ roll does not get much better than this and it would become an eternal part of his live shows.
“Wonderful Tonight” takes the listener in a change direction. This gentle ballad, written for Patti Boyd (Harrison), features one of his better vocals and the lyrics demonstrate how he had evolved as a songwriter. “Lay Down Sally” was a huge top three hit single in the United States. Its shuffle or staccato guitar sound was unique and Clapton’s vocal fits in well. Marcy Levy, who co-wrote the track with Clapton, provides some memorable vocals.
Another outstanding track was also co-written by Levy. “The Core,” at close to nine minutes, gives Clapton some room to stretch plus contains a nice Clapton/Levy duet. The old Arthur Crudup tune, “Mean Old Frisco,” returns him to his blues roots as he demonstrates some tasty slide guitar technique. “We’re All The Way,” written by Don Williams, is an early Clapton foray into a country sound.
Slowhand was a masterpiece then, and remains one now. For anyone interested in the solo career of Eric Clapton, it all flows through this album.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Eric Clapton swaps: Eric Clapton electric guitar for cricket bat

Eric Clapton brandished a cricket bat instead of a Fender Stratocaster to play a charity match this week.
Eric Clapton XI the rock story assembled, which featured other musicians such as Steve Crook of Juliet The Sun, to play Bunbury Cricket Club.
Speaking to the Sun, Crook revealed that he took the chance to ask the former Cream electric guitar player for tips on how to progress in the music business.
He commented, "He put us in contact with his legendary former manager David English, who's been helping to guide our career".
Crook added that in comeback, Clapton he offered a few tips on how to improve his game of cricket, in special his forward defensive stroke.
The rock story obviously got 15 runs after being given this little bit of advice.
This comes after former Rolling Stones bass guitar player Bill Wyman took part in one of Clapton's charity cricket matches in the summer.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Announce second London show to Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck

Guitar god Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck announced that they were playing a gig together at London's O2 Arena on February 13th a few months ago. Pollstar reports that the two have now added a second date, February 14th. Tickets for the gigs went on sale last week. Clapton said in a released statement, "Jeff Beck I've always considered k to be one of the finest guitar players around. He's a friend, a great guy, and a truly gifted musician. We had such a fun time in Japan that it seemed natural to play together again."Clapton and Beck have played several of the same benefits and festivals over the year but it wasn't until they split a bill in Japan last year that the duo decided to book a show together. The new show may be not the last as more dates may be added in the future.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

There's One In Every Crowd-Eric Clapton

If it weren’t for the dog on the cover I would not have remembered anything about this album. My vinyl copy is in pristine condition, which is not a nice sign as it means the record has not been played very much over the years.
There’s One In Every Crowd, i have listened, a couple of times over the past two days and it reminds me of 461 Ocean Boulevard, but without the highs or truly memorable tracks. There were no hit singles and it lacked a signature song such as “I Shot The Sheriff.” It was also nowhere near as commercially successful as its number one predecessor.
This was another eclectic pair of songs by Clapton, ranging from blues to gospel to reggae to rock all in all, a mellow and laid back affair. Gone were the extended guitar solos and energetic rock ‘n’ roll of the past. It was a far change Clapton than his fans of Cream, The Bluesbreakers, and even The Yardbirds were used too.
There are no terrible tracks but there are few, if any, that actually stay with you. The first two songs, “We’ve Been Told (Jesus Is Coming)” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” are both smooth renditions and have a nice gospel feel. The best track is likely the old Elmore James blues tune, “The Sky Is Crying,” where Clapton gives a few short bursts of his guitar proficiency.
The final four songs were all written by Clapton and set the tone for a lot of his work that would follow in the years to come. “Better Make It Through Today” is soulful while “Pretty Blue Eyes” has some gentle acoustic playing.
There’s One In Every Crowd is one of the forgettable albums in Eric Clapton’s vast catalogue. If you are going to explore his music this is likely not an album you would pick. In fact, my vinyl copy has been returned to its shelf.