View Full Version : New Clapton Set Salutes Robert Johnson

02-06-2004, 07:10 PM
By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Eric Clapton (news) will salute one of his biggest musical influences, legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson, on the upcoming album "Me and Mr. Johnson."

Due March 23, the 14-track set finds the artist tackling such staples as "Traveling Riverside Blues," "Love in Vain" and "Stop Breakin' Down Blues."

Clapton has recorded Johnson's songs on several of his prior albums, including 1974's "461 Ocean Boulevard" and his 1992 "Unplugged" set. His 1988 boxed set "Crossroads" is named after another Johnson standard, which Clapton helped popularize with a rendition by Cream. "Me and Mr. Johnson" (Duck/Reprise) is the artist's first studio album since 2001's "Reptile," which debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200.

"Up until I heard his music, everything I had ever heard seemed as if it was dressed up for a shop window somewhere, so that when I heard him for the first time, it was like he was singing only for himself, and now and then, maybe God," Clapton says. "At first, it scared me in its intensity, and I could only take it in small doses. Then I would build up strength and take a little more, but I could never really get away from it, and in the end, it spoiled me for everything else."

Clapton is backed on the new album by guitarists Andy Fairweather Low and Doyle Bramhall II, bassist Nathan East, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Billy Preston and harmonica player Jerry Portnoy. He will support the set with a spring European tour, beginning March 26 in Cournon, France, and wrapping in May with a run of six shows at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Additionally, he guests on two tracks on Toots & the Maytals' "True Love," due April 6 from V2 Records.

Golden AWe
02-07-2004, 01:24 PM
Damn...he's coming to Europe...I gotta get to his concert in Copenhagen...I MUST!!!

Reptile was a lot better album than the average adult pop rock he did in the 90's...

Leandro Pujiz
02-08-2004, 12:45 AM
Cool stuff!!!!!!!!

High Life Man
02-08-2004, 03:27 PM
I saw him a couple of summers ago. The show sucked.

He ended the show with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Gay.

02-09-2004, 11:14 AM
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