Review by Mike McKenna
Pa Music Scene.com
Eric Clapton’s 19th solo album, Clapton, isn’t available in stores until Tuesday, September 28, 2010 but what I heard can only be described as “an eclectic collection of songs that weren’t really on anyone’s radar” Comprised of originals, jazz standards, country and blues, Eric Clapton goes back in time to his roots with a collection of songs that will surprise many people, it did me!
For his first solo album in five years, the guitar legend gathered an all-star cast of musicians, ranging from JJ Cale, drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Willie Weeks, keyboardist Walt Richmond and special guests Steve Winwood, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Allen Toussaint and Derek Trucks to come together on this mix of deep music with roots and feeling.
14 new offerings from Clapton make up this new effort. “River Runs Deep” is an awesome tune with the words “the river runs deep and the water is cold as ice” that constantly runs throughout the number. “Judgement Day” is a bluesy, harmonica tootin’ tune that takes me back to the early day’s way back in the 40’s. “My Good Friend the Milkman” is a signature ragtime jazz number that Eric does Justice to. “Can’t Hold out Much Longer” is another one of Clapton’s signature blues efforts.
“That’s No Way to Get Along” is performed in the same mold as a ‘Lay Down Sally’ with a nice hook and classic Clapton vocals. This country flavored tune adds a bit of flair with the steel guitar. “Everything will be Alright” is a nice jazz flavored number with nice keyboard work and nice backing horns.
“When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful” is a tune I could have seen The legendary Louie Armstrong doing. It has that Roaring 20’s feeling. “Hard Times Blues” is exactly the way it sounds, very deep bluesy vocals, a little banjo work and one of those messages about life back then. “Run Back to Your Side” is probably the most mainstream number and my pick as the best song on this CD.
This entire collection is Clapton going back to basics, his roots, the music that inspired him and made him the legend he is today. There are very few musicians who could have pulled this off with the ease that he does.