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Eric Clapton Goes to the “Crossroads” and Brings Friends On New CD, DVD, BD

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Eric Clapton - Crossroads

Eric Clapton is big on giving back.  The guitar god founded Antigua’s Crossroads Centre for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction in 1998, and in 2004, spearheaded the creation of the Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival to benefit the facility of the same name.  Since that first ’04 fest, Crossroads Festivals have taken place every three years, in 2007, 2010 and 2013.  Highlights from the 2013 shows, which took place on April 12 and 13 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, are now available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Rhino.

Headlined of course by Clapton, the first Crossroads Festival was held in Dallas, Texas and endeavored to represent instrumentalists from the blues, rock, country and even jazz realms.  The festival featured such diverse guitar greats as Jeff Beck, J.J. Cale, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana as well as singer-songwriters like Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and the up-and-coming John Mayer, as well as bands like Booker T and the MG’s, Styx and ZZ Top.  The 2013 line-up welcomed back many artists who had played at that very first event (and subsequent ones) such as B.B. King, Booker T. Jones, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Robert Randolph, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmie Vaughan and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.  Other performers included Keith Richards, Earl Klugh, Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal.

The DVD and BD releases present 45 songs from both evenings of Crossroads 2013 in director Martyn Atkins’ concert film, playable in either stereo or 5.1 surround.  The CD edition boasts 29 tracks on two discs.  In all formats you’ll get Clapton’s performances of signature songs “Tears in Heaven,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Got to Get Better in a Little While” and some collaborations: “Lay Down Sally” with Gill, “Key to the Highway” with moonlighting Glimmer Twin Richards, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Bad” with the Allman Brothers Band, and “Gin House Blues” on which he accompanies Andy Fairweather-Low.  The DVD/BD releases add Clapton’s “Crossroads,” “Spider Jiving” with Fairweather-Low, “Big Road Blues” with Kurt Rosenwinkel, “Everyday I Have the Blues” with B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan and The Robert Cray Band, and Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” with The Band’s Robbie Robertson.

All-star duets are often among the most tantalizing aspects of benefit concert performances, and Crossroads 2013 is no exception.  In addition to the previously mentioned Clapton duets, the Crossroads CD includes such collaborations as John Mayer and Keith Urban on The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” Mayer and Doyle Bramhall II on “Change It,” Vince Gill with Albert Lee on “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ on “Diving Duck Blues,” and a jam on the stone-cold Stax classic “Green Onions” with Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper joined by Keb’ Mo’, Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Albert Lee.  Of course, there’s more on the DVD/BD such as the same group doing Jones’ “Born Under a Bad Sign,” Booker T and Cropper’s “Green Onions,” and Gill, Urban and Lee doing The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.”

After the jump: more on Crossroads, including full track listings and order links for each format! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 19, 2013 at 11:44

They Go A Long Way Back: Booker T., Bloodstone, One Way On Tap From Purpose Music Vaults

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One Way Feat. Al HudsonThe Vaults are open again!  And by The Vaults, I mean Purpose Music Vaults, the soul/R&B-focused label that launched late last year with a dynamic duo of reissues from Bobby Womack and Ronnie Dyson.  Our initial report also covered the label’s reissue of Dan Hartman’s Relight My Fire, but delays kept the disco classic from arriving as scheduled.  Well, the good news is that Relight My Fire has finally been released to finer retailers everywhere!  The better news is that Purpose has announced a second slate of releases set for May 21.  And the best news?  Two of these titles can be YOURS TO WIN, two months before their street date!

Leading the Purpose pack is a release from Detroit’s One Way.  Formed in 1979 from the ashes of The Soul Partners, the members of One Way featuring Al Hudson proved themselves adept at both funky danceable numbers and romantic ballads.  All told, One Way scored five Top 10 R&B hits in the 1980s, and Purpose is celebrating the group’s legacy with a reissue of the self-titled One Way Featuring Al Hudson.  The original 1979 album’s six tracks (all clocking in over six minutes in length) have been augmented by four bonus tracks.  These include “Tonight” (previously unreleased in the U.S.) and single remixes of “You Can Do It,” “Music,” and “Now That I’ve Found You.”  All tracks have been remastered from the original tapes with the exception of the single remixes of “Music” and “Now That I’ve Found You” which have been sourced from vinyl.  (Big kudos to the team at Purpose for being up-front about this!)

Booker T - I Want YouStax legend Booker T. Jones joins One Way with his long out-of-print 1981 album for A&M Records, I Want You.  Following a side trip to Epic Records for 1974’s Evergreen, the songwriter/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist/producer returned to his A&M home.  I Want You followed Try and Love Again (1978) and The Best of You (1980), and featured Booker T. on vocals, guitar, clavinet and piano.  He wrote or co-wrote seven of the album’s eight tracks with collaborators such as Leon Ware and Michael Stokes, with the eighth song coming from the great Sam Dees.  Purpose’s reissue has been remastered from the original tapes, and includes two bonus tracks: a nearly eight-minute extended version of “Don’t Stop Your Love,” and the single edit of “I Want You.”

After the jump: you might be on a natural high with Purpose’s third upcoming reissue!  Plus, we’ve got information on how you can be a winner! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 3, 2013 at 12:40


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Written by Joe Marchese

April 3, 2013 at 12:34