How would you compare it to Clapton's previous blues cover album "From The Cradle"?
Better, worse, more of the same?
Better, worse, more of the same?
It's a very good album. I picked it up the day it came out and listened to it immediately. What struck me most was EC's voice. At times in the past, particularly on blues outings, his voice struck me as that of an Englishman trying to sound like a bluesman. He was trying too hard. Here his voice is truly convincing--I have no trouble buying him as a true, genuine blues singer. Maybe it's something about the aging process. The older you get, the more you learn and experience, and the more your voice reflects those experiences. The band, as usual, is tighter than a kettledrum, and EC's playing is tasteful without being overly reverent.
I have it, and I'm lukewarm about it. For me the album says more about EC than RJ. It's nice enough in an inoffensive sort of way. I found the production a bit overdone, especially given the subject matter and the fact that it's a tribute album. It's OK, but I won't go out of my way to put it on a lot.
I'm a little biased in this, I prefer my blues straight up with an edge. EC falls in the middle - he's bluesier than yer average white boy, but he ain't no Mississippi Fred McDowell.
What I'd like to know, does Eric play his guitar on this album? Does Eric sing in his own voice, or does he try to sound like an old bluesman like he did sometimes on "Cradle?"
Clapton is a hard guy to figure out? He has the gift of being a great guitarist. He also sings pretty good, I reference songs like "Hard Times", or "Bell Bottom Blues." Yet, at times he seems to feel guilty, or embarassed to let his guitar rip, or be known as a virtuoso guitar player. Plain and simply when Eric lets himself go, he runs with the best of them, bar none. He is one of the few white bluesman (SRV was another)who has always had the respect of the greats such as Muddy, Buddy, and BB.
He is so disappointing mainly because of the pop crap he is intent on mixing with his occasional great blues jams. He lacks credibility as a bluesman sometimes because HE doesn't seem to know if he is one or not, himself.
He has a perfect right to play whatever he likes, but can you imagine someone like Duane Allman, SRV, or Muddy playing some of the crap he's put out.
If he wanted, he could blow most so-called "hot" blues guitarists out of the water. The one thing Clapton has, when he wants to play, is a unique style and grace that few if any other contemporary guitarists have. He doesn't have to always play 100 miles an hour to sound impressive. His chops are undeniable.
Unfortunately, he so often downplays his genius, and refuses to be what he really is, a great blues guitarist and artist.
I agree with Wildoats! Clapton has earned the right to play whatever he wants period! I don't care for a lot of his pop music but what he has done to keep the blues alive makes him a living legend. I haven't listened to the CD yet so I can't comment but my hat's off to him for giving props to Robert Johnson.
Hooper, good point about his voice-he is as convincing as ever with his singing. I love Clapton but admit he frustrates me - that double live album that he toured behind last don't remember the name was a big disappointment for me. I saw the concert on directv and thought if I was there I would be pissed! On my first and only listen this album seems more honest bluesy than Behind the cradle which is a good disc. Clapton's pinnacle for me was Journeyman and the tour behind it back in the late 80's and early 90's - those were vintage Eric song sets and performances