17 comments on “Eric Clapton’s new album

  1. Fantastic music even though redneck that I am I preferred the Lynyrd Skynyrd version…

  2. Yet another ’60s icon who’ll die too late rather than too soon.

    “Me and Mr. Johnson” was such a dreadful album that I simply refuse to listen to anything by Clapton on principle. Clapton hasn’t done anything worth a hoot since Cream, and well over half of Cream’s catalog is complete crap. He’s just a speed merchant who wouldn’t know the blues if it hit him in the face… Easily the most overrated rock musician of all time, which is saying something when you’ve had a dork like Mick Jagger mincing about for 45 or so years.

    And Bravefart is right… Albert Lee does it better, and always has.

  3. It’s no accident that Clapton spends much of his time doing tribute albums… Dead musicians like Johnson and Cale can’t defend themselves.

  4. Would that be the JJ Cale who was a close friend of Eric Clapton, who’s funeral Clapton attended, with whom he recorded the album The Road to Escondido and who has only been dead a year so was well acquainted with Eric Clapton’s versions of some of his songs?

    But then if you are being a pompous twat it is not really necessary for reality to intrude.

  5. @Dennis
    “He’s just a speed merchant who wouldn’t know the blues if it hit him in the face”
    My memories of Clapton were of him jamming with a bunch of blues enthusiasts (including the g/f’s brother) in basement club off the Charring Cross Road on a Sunday afternoon. That’d be around the winter of ’68, so post Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers & Cream. Pretty sure another of the jammers was Jimmy Page, another “speed merchant who wouldn’t know the blues if it hit him in the face”.

  6. Anyone interested in the pedigree of the Brit blues scene might find the Wiki entries for Cyril Davies (All Stars) & Blues Incorporated interesting.

  7. Yes, yes, yes, Clapton was Cale’s friend. Big deal. He also worshiped at the shrine of Robert Johnson. That doesn’t make his work any better or more relevant. The road to musical hell is, after all, paved with good intentions, is it not?

    And let us not forget Clapton’s part in the equally dreadful ‘Howlin’ Wolf Sessions’.

    You want to hear a rock guitarist who actually understands the blues? Try the late Johnny Winter. Try listening to Winter playing with Muddy Waters… and then listen to Clapton playing with Howlin’ Wolf.

  8. @BF
    “The only ex-Yardbird guitarist who is any good now…”
    Christ! They’re mostly in their 70s. That any of them are still playing’s a miracle.
    @Dennis
    You were referencing the Brit Blues scene, weren’t you?
    Without the Brits having embraced the blues, in the 60s, (White Boy Blues) it’s doubtful US blues would have separated itself from being an exclusively black genre. So most of the people you’re talking about would never have been heard of. Most white American kids had never heard of the Chess label, let alone listened to its artists.

  9. “Most white American kids had never heard of the Chess label, let alone listened to its artists.”

    Sorry, but that’s largely a myth… mostly perpetuated by people who don’t know their blues (or US rock ‘n’ roll, for that matter).

    The simple fact is this: White folks in the USA have carried the mantle of the blues (delta and rural southern blues especially) since the late 1950s. With a partial exception for urban blues (such as the ‘Chicago Blues’), it is American blacks who have shed and shunned the blues. The eclipse of the great blues artists in the 1950s and early 1960s was not because white Americans ignored them, it was because and increasing urbanized black America had moved on to genres like R&B and jazz. Go back and look through the record catalogs of some of the great delta blues artists and you’ll find lots of live recordings at folk music festivals that are, at the very least, contemporaneous to the blues explosion in England. Those were very white audiences they were playing for. Also remember that the USA had it’s own blues explosion at about the same time the Brits did… Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers and Canned Heat are examples of that particular phenomenon.

    American kids didn’t ignore the blues… their record label owning parents did.

  10. It seems to me somewhat ironic that the blues should be the subject of so much intellectual snobbery and disdain. I used to think I had one of the largest blues collections in private hands, for no other reason that I buy what I like to listen to. It now appears that possibly large parts of my collection are not kosher blues. Should I still listen to them and feel dirty and a philistine, or should I donate them to a charity shop and confine myself to blues sanctioned by the International Blues Commission? A list would be helpful, but just for starters, where do I stand with Stan Webb and Peter Green, I’ve got rather a lot of their music, if music it be? Presumably the IBC will certainly frown on me going to see the mincing dork and his popular beat combo at the Hope Wine estate in November.

  11. You can like whatever you like, DocBud. I’m not suggesting Clapton be banned or the Mincing Dork be sanctioned. I’m just pointing out the obvious: Clapton’s made a lot of really dreadful “blues” music throughout his career. It has nothing to do with purity and everything to do with quality.

    Listen to Robert Johnson’s own recordings and then tell me how you get from Johnson’s intensity and desperation to Clapton’s laid-back warm ‘n’ fuzzy ‘Me And Mr. Johnson’ without acknowledging that Clapton missed the whole point of Johnson’s music. And as I said before, compare Clapton’s ‘Howlin’ Wolf Sessions’ with anything Johnny Winter did with Muddy Waters and then sing me the praises of St. Eric. Clapton did great work with John Mayall, and knocked out a few good blues covers with Cream, but that’s about it.

    What’s funny about the Rolling Stones is this: Get rid of the Mincing Dork and you have some of the best British blues musicians ever. Wyman and Watts were a great blues rhythm section (perhaps the best Britain ever produced) and Ronnie Wood (with Faces) and Keith Richards are, in my book, the only two Brit guitarists who actually managed to get the blues right. Listen to Wood’s guitar on ‘Miss Judy’s Farm’ and Richards’ on ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and then tell me Clapton ever came close to doing as well, let alone better.

  12. What’s funny about the Rolling Stones is this: Get rid of the Mincing Dork and you have some of the best British blues musicians ever.

    Including Ian Stewart. His boogie woogie piano on the Led Zeppelin stuff, plus the early Stones, is superb, as raw and authentic as it comes.

  13. I like it … but I hate videos of guitar players that don’t show them playing their guitars much.

    I did like the shots of Springdale and St. George though.

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