37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Two Good Friends and One Great Album (4.5 stars),,
This review is from: The Road to Escondido (Audio CD)
A few years ago, Clapton was quoted saying that he was the "closest thing an English man could come to be J.J. Cale." Whether this is accurate or wishful thinking, it speaks volumes about Eric Clapton's admiration for his friend and fellow guitar slinger.
Having scored mega-hits with Cale's "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," Clapton has, again, something to thank J.J. for. The former "god" of classic Rock has not, in my opinion, put out a truly exciting album in many years but, though this is not a masterpiece, playing with Cale has done him a world of good.
The overall feel here is 100% Cale, laid back grooves and restrained Blues that, before you know it'll seep slowly into your DNA and make you sway and shuffle hopelessly. Cale capacity to say very much with very few notes is legendary and this album is further proof of it. Clapton, on his part, seems to play freed from pressures to turn out another classic and he sounds more convincing and dead-on than he has in at least a decade or two.
There are several songs that either guitar player could be proud to include in their canon. Whether you think of the sensuos "Hard To Thrill"--probably the best track here--or Cale's trademark cadences in "Danger," or the sweet "Three Little Girls," "Heads In Georgia" or "Last Will And Testament," if you like these guys you are in for a treat. No surprises nor unexpected turns, nothing "escondido"--"hidden" in Spanish--either, actually. Just the album you'd guess these two would make if they ever got together, and that's a very good thing.
All in all, this is a wonderful set of songs, played with passion but without the slightest bit of tension or need for showing off. It is an album made by two great musicians who, like any two friends, can relax in each other's presence and do what they do best: make some memorable music.