I have read all the comments other reviewers make about this album and yet I still can't figure it out. Eric is one of the great guitar players so, why does he not play the thing on this album? Why should we have to go to a live concert to hear him play? We loyally buy his records because we hope to be moved by his playing - if we wanted to be moved by one of the other folk who dominate here, I guess we would buy their records. I don't at all mind him searching out old little-known songs and revisiting them but I do mind shelling out for a 'Clapton' album which - in my view - does not really do the man justice. I will never forget seeing Eric live in Southampton in the late '70's. However, (and I understand the reasons why) he stood at the back of the stage and let another guitarist front the band even though it as billed as a Clapton gig. Well, those reasons are no longer relevant so, why does he still do it on these albums. I love Riding with the King and that's what I always hope for when I buy his records. Much though I love the man, I can't see myself buying any more of his output and that makes me sad.
Eric Clapton is on top form with this album. I've had it on continually for a week and it's grown and grown on me. The album has a stellar cast, beautiful guitar tones and great licks that really complement the choice of standards and newer songs. An understated would-be classic, not unlike a melding of 461 Ocean Boulevard and Unplugged. Even E.C.'s cover shot hair style echoes that latter era. Recommended listening.
An album of well developed & splendidly crafted songs. Doyle Bramhall II produces the album and the sound is reminiscent of the sound his father creates - also Doyle Bramhall (try the excellent "Is it news") - with smooth, layered guitars. In addition to Clapton, Trucks & DBII himself provide some excellent guitar work. But don't look for Hard rock - some songs follow the sound one would associate with JJ Cale (& he's here on a number of songs), others pitch more toward a mature blues or even jazz, particularly Clapton's most noteworthy contributions (on How deep is the ocean & Autumun Leaves). Every song is beautifully delivered - which shouldn't surprise anyone with the quality of musicians on show: Willie Weeks plays a mean double bass & Jim Keltner cool drums; Walt Richmond is excellent throughout on piano, although also watch out for two appearances from Allen Toussaint (try his "Bright Mississippi" for more New Orleans style jazz). Interestingly, a few of the songs here also enter that New Orleans style of jazz - not a sound I've previously associated with Clapton. Potential hit single in Everything will be alright. No discernible weak tracks - and several as good as anything Clapton's ever done. I'd say, along with Sessions with Robert J, it's Claptons strongest album. And as he's been involved in >330 that's quite a claim!
Eric Clapton has released an album of impeccable taste. The used to-be rocker has showed how to get older gracefully. You can possible have the opinion that some of this material is old-fashioned. I think of versions of jazzstaples as "Rockin Chair", "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "Autumn Leaves" etc. I mean that now he has the matureness to perform this music relaxed and with ease. He has never sung so good as on this one! But you get fooled if you think this a record with only "stuffy old songs". He mixes in blues tunes by Snooky Pryor's "Judgement Day"(excellent playing by Kim Wilson on harp)and Little Walter's "Can't Hold Out Much Longer" (Kim Wilson again!). And on "Run Back To Your Side" (co-wroted with Doyle Bramhall II)he "rocks". And the opening track "Travelin'Alone" is played with fine slideguitar. J.J Cale is present with two good songs " River Runs Deep" and "Everything Will Be Alright". We all know the good chemistry they produced together with the 2006's album "The Road To Escondido". My only reservation is the duet with Sheryl Crow on "Diamonds Made from Rain". The song is not soo bad but it feels like this one is made for radio friendly purpose. The album would have been better off without it! Except for that I can only fully recommend this album!
Smooth, sultry and surprisingly sophisticated: this is Clapton in comtemplative mood - and it works. There's just enough virtuoso guitar work to keep Slowhand fans satisfied, but this is very grown-up music from a very mature rocker. Repays careful listening.
A fine album with a varied selection of tracks, a good description possibly being "music for grown ups." Not much evidence of Eric's blazing guitar but what there is, is track following track of superbly crafted, skilled, playing. Not one poor piece on the whole album, in my opinion; that being the case, it's difficult to pick out the highlights but some of my favourites include: Hoagy Carmichael's 'Rocking Chair', the two J J Cale tracks 'The River Runs Deep' and 'Everything Will be Alright.' The Irving Berlin classic 'How Deep is the Ocean' is outstanding and features an unmissable trumpet solo by Wynton Marsalis. Another two personal favourites are the happy upbeat 'My Very Good Friend the Milkman' and, in a similar vein, 'When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful. Possibly saving the best till last, the album closes with the classic 'Autumn Leaves' - I heard a comment that God's ipod must have been stolen - I wish I'd thought of that! A well rounded album by a mature accomplished artist, ably assisted by superb musicians performing excellent material. If a mature Clapton is your thing, you won't be disappointed.