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Me And Mr. Johnson

Me And Mr. Johnson

23 Mar 2003
4.1 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Cranson VINE VOICE on 26 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
It was only a metter of time before Mr Clapton recorded this album. RObert Johnson has been in his blood since way back when. In all of his music down the years you can hear it. It was something which he was born to record.
Having now recorded it, we can be very thankful. Sit back and let it all flow over you. The music, the playing, the lyrics. He - and the band - make it sound all so easy. Which is most of the genius of the whole thing. How can a white guy from London in the 21st century feel so much of the pain and joy of a black man from 20s/30s Chicago?
Yet he does. It oozes from every note and chord, and it's wonderful to behold.
The one track that's missing - IMHO - is Crossroads Blues (or just Crossroads) which I for one was expecting. Maybe we'll get that one with the other 14 which haven't made it on to this collection. Surely we'll get a Vol 2 - PLEASE!
It was worth the wait.
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Format: Audio CD
At long last, EC gets "Up close and personal" with the legendary Robert Johnson and his music. Not withstanding EC's previous renditions of some of RJ's songs (Crossroads when he was with Cream probably being his most well known but he has performed others down the years, for example Walking Blues and Malted Milk from the Unplugged album) this is an inspired and authentic piece of work. Apparently the album came about as a result of EC and his band jamming RJ songs as a way of relaxing whilst working on his next "original material" album (due for release in '05 apparently - Guitarist Magazine May 2004 issue). The playing by all band-members is great - Doyle Bramhall II is inspired in his slide work, and Billy Preston demonstrates some wonderful "blues with a feelin'" on his Hammond.
14 tracks are listed, all are delivered with Eric Clapton's unmistakably soulful vocals, with some great guitar work by the Master, but he also gives his band members space and time to perform their own talents. It really is like listening to a highly polished and fluent blues jamming band - the tonal quality of the amps is captured wonderfully, Class A valves driven to the edge of distortion!
Delta Blues, delivered with feeling - buy it, you won't be disappointed!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Recorded in 2004, this album is only the second pure blues album of Eric Clapton's solo career. Dedicated to one of the most famous and legendary (and for once the word legendary is used correctly) bluesmen of all time, Robert Johnson, this record shows Clapton at his best.

Clapton treats these songs with a great deal of respect, and the real passion he has for the music really shines through. Sounding more committed to the music than at any time since `From the Cradle', he turns in a cracking performance. These are not songs he could have done justice to any earlier in his career, his voice is now world weary and battered and his guitar playing mature and restrained. He delivers a well chosen set of Johnson's best songs, and by his own standards this is one of his best solo albums.

I do have one niggle. The production is at times just a little too slick and polished. The raw edge to the music is slightly lacking. Comparing it to Clapton's solo work it is a marvellous record, but if, say, you were to compare it to Pete Green's set of Johnson covers, or even the original recordings by the great man himself, this record is just a little lacking in emotional punch and intensity. I'm still going to give it 5 stars though, as depending on what sort of mood you are in would determine which versions you go for, and this record is a classic if you are in the mood for something a little more polished.
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Format: Audio CD
Eric Clapton is perhaps the most influential British blues guitarist in history (with the exception of Peter Green). He is in a better postion than any other British guitarist to do justice to this powerful material, but while he is undoubtedly a hugely experienced and talented player, when I bought this album I wondered if his touch was a little too light to pull it off.
My first impression was that Clapton's arrangements do not immediately evoke the dark, powerful feel and vivid imagery of Johnson's music. Johnson was not a technically gifted singer, but he sang with great passion, and this is not easily evident in the recordings here. As a guitarist, Johnson shone above his contemporaries, and his combined lead work and bass runs are still evading guitarists today. He was a versatile player with great feeling, and the same can be said for Clapton, who plays within the spirit rather than the letter of Johnson's style here.
And this is really why I like this album - I expect that it will not satisfy some purists, and certainly the choice to use a full group, including electric guitars, is a controversial one, but Clapton is a fine blues musician, and this a tribute to one of his heros, not an album of note-for-note transcriptions. What you get here is an expression of Clapton's genuine love for the music of a blues great, and it is a joyful, accomplished expression, that has as much to do with the blues of the 21st Century as that of the 1930's.
In fact, Clapton's group creates a powerful momentum that does service to this music. It is an easy-rolling, foot-tapping power, that pulls you along without you even realising it, and provides a great platform for the vocals and instrumental solos.
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