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on 7 December 2013
Something has been bothering me of late, concerning EC's studio albums. From Back Home to Old Sock has revealed that EC's studio recordings currently have serious feet of clay. There's something missing, that you cannot really put your finger on: it's as if a yearning is there, but the execution is pointless, or wrong-headed.

That's not to say, however, that his collaborations, and other live albums, lack something: far from it. EC has worked wonders with Wynton Marsalis, reunited with Cream for some excellent concerts in 2005, and given us an amazing live album with Steve Winwood. He's also cut the mustard with the late JJ Cale on The Road to Escondido, and this various artists, EC curated, album shows that the live and collaborative material is what EC currently does best.

It opens with a great Tears In Heaven, and follows that with a nod to the Tulsa sound, with Vince Gill, on Lay Down Sally. Then the guests take over, with an amazing Green Onions by Booker T, Steve Cropper, Albert Lee etc. I have an obscure ferocious take on Green Onions on a Stax 4cd set, and this version summons up that ghost. John Mayer also channels an inner Brothers & Sisters / Harvest mellow rock feel on Queen of California, and what he does with Keith Urban on Don't Let Me Down is amazing. Urban is excellent in recent collaborations with Jimmy Webb and John Fogerty, and this only highlights his brilliance.

I am also fond of Gary Clark Jnr, who also appears on the recent Buddy Guy album, and was a guest on some of the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary gigs. He's a revelation on this album, whether it be with Doyle Bramhall, electric blues, or acoustic blues. Additionally, he's the younger blues in contrast to the fiery older blues of Buddy Guy, represented here on Damn Right I Got The Blues, and shows the blues to be in safe hands.

I would add too that EC's revisitation of Derek-era material with Derek Trucks and the rest of the curremt Allman Brothers Band is brilliant, and maybe that could be, or should be, the roots of a great live collaboration. Bobby Whitlock is still alive, and it could be worthwhile.

Furthermore, Jeff Beck on Women Of Ireland is far better than he was with the Corrs doing the same track. It's not a patch on The Chieftains original version, but it's still good.

I would add, finally, that EC really knows what to do with his back catalogue: his live archives are coming to light with a recent 2 disc Unplugged reissue, a 1977 concert as a bonus on Slowhand, and highlights from the Johnny Cash show on a deluxe Layla. Unlike the Stones, he's really giving the fans what they want, in the last year, be it a new studio album, Old Sock, the live concert with Wynton Marsalis, and the deluxe Slowhand, in addition to the deluxe Unplugges. We, in the forthcoming week, will also be expecting Give Me Strength; the 1974-75 Sessions, and , hopefully, there'll be more in 2014.
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on 26 January 2015
Full of excellent music. There are some surprises, some non-mainstream contributions, innovation, nostalgia, some fun like Keef on Keys to the Highway, and plenty of raw power. There are very few women on this CD and maybe this reflects on the industry as a whole. Or maybe there was just no room for a Beth Hart or a Bonny Raitt. But also no Bonamassa. If you like this stuff, which I do, then 3 CDs would also have been ok imho. Or 4. Ignoring what's possibly missing, what's included are some fine performances. The sheer variety is enough to include a fair helping of these tracks on your wildest playlists.
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on 8 November 2015
For me one of the best things about these festivals is the introduction provided to some other great music. I personally think that the other artists were better than Eric on this, as he just prvoided the usual fare with nothing different (not a bad thing but he has done better I think). I'm not a fan of the jazzy stuff so skip that but really enjoy people I've never really looked into like Gary Clarke jnr. All in all, great variety, superb guitar skills and very good value.
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on 7 December 2013
A beautiful double CD with a superb cast and really enjoyable performances, with ragged vocals and shining traded solos. One of the best blues releases of 2013.
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on 22 November 2013
Yet another fabulous line up. I have all the previous DVDs and they are brilliant but this time I can actually listen to it in the car!
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on 5 February 2014
I have all the other Crossroads DVD's, and had this as a present at Christmas 2013. I've had quite a few goes at it now, but whilst it does contain some things that please me, the overall variation seems less wide than before.
It hurts me to say this, but I had expected better.
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on 12 March 2016
Similar comments apply here as to my review of the 2010 concert. I rate this slightly higher mainly because of the performance of Gin House Blues by Andy Fairweather Low with a wonderful solo (even by his standards) by Eric Clapton.
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on 7 June 2014
Do you like guitar music? Do you like blues? Then why isn't this in your collection already? It is? I apologise...
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on 28 May 2015
I agree with the reviews I read before buying this. There is variety of style in abundance, and an excellent standard of musical ability displayed. A really great listen from all points of view. I especially enjoyed the different treatment of 'Tears in Heaven' from Eric.
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on 28 February 2014
This album is one of the best in the Crossroads series and I think the first audio CD of the DVD.
Clapton and friends are as usual excellent viewing and now listening with the Crossroads concerts.
An excellent CD but purchase the DVD also for this brilliant concert.
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