After the previous Crossroads DVD's I was eagerly looking forward to this years performances however apart from some gems in between I am disappointed.
First the continuity is poor, the acts are scattered all over the place, why not show the event and musicians in order they appear? The camera work is shoddy at times and downright awful in places. For instance Booker T's marvellous rendition of "Green Onions" is interrupted by a shot of someone walking in the auditorium showing his ticket to a steward. The camera shakes during other sessions and during one number it is focused on a microphone stand and the artists feet!
Much of the time there are no intorductions so we do not know who is playing in the band. There is a jam session including BB King but you don't know it until a way through. Earl Klugh suffers the most with the shortest performance of all just a few minutes and must have been cut as it only shows his last two numbers, no introduction either.
There is too much of the same style of playing dominated by Doyle Bramhall, so much it becomes monotinous.
However there are moments of inspiration-"Born under a bad sign" with Keb Mo (later to play with Taj Mahal) and Booker T's band including Matt "guitar" Murphy is raunchy as hell and there is a fast paced rendition of the classic "Green Onions".
One man band Gary Clark Jr jaunts through "Next Door Neighbour blues" to the delight of the audience.
The appearance of Keith Richards is a signal for rapturous applause as he plays with Eric on the Key to the Highway.
Its a DVD that you have to dip into to get the best out of, there are moments of magnificent guitar playing and music but it lacks the festival atmosphere of 2007, the sunshine, the quality of camera work and variety of performances.
Crossroads needs a rethink.