on December 9, 2007
Well first of all, this is a fantastic show, and it's in Chicago. The line up is stellar and everyone is having a great time. Yes there could have been others there as we all know- Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Steve Vai and maybe even Les Paul--and with Blues folk Otis Rush -who has been sick and of course Bo Diddley (who had a tune dedicated to him by Robbie Robertson and had suffered a stroke earlier this year) Chuck Berry (he lives close!) Jody Williams maybe a lot of others...
But you can't please everyone and I thought the show was a nice mix. Very entertaining and the various combinations which played together (the real highlight of this DVD) seem to work well. I am a Blues enthusiast and the Blues in this show is fantastic. Hubert Sumilin plays great as does Robert Cray-who usually has no effects, but pulls off a little delay in "Poor Johnny". And Johnny Winter, who is also ill, brings back the fire in "Highway 61" as noted his slide playing is still phenomenal, and he gets applause from Derek Trucks!
B.B. King is very charming as usual at 82 and does well with Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert and Robert Cray. Well presented and touching with Eric in the wings. In Disc 2 we have John Mayer and the charismatic Los Lobos who start it off. Then the masterful Jeff Beck always amazing as he was when I first saw him with Rod Stewart on vocals at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968. His quartet with Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, originally an Aussie from Sydney (Bondi) now based in the US-she is a stunner she may be the next Jaco Pastorius or Charlie Mingus and sexy too! I agree with other reviewers this band should tour now! Maybe Tal can sing?
Eric's set is great of course. I saw it in Australia this year (twice). Great selection of not the usual E.C. classics--well Doyle Bramhall II does "Outside Women Blues" on Disc 1. He does things from early in his solo career and of course a tribute to George Harrison. The highlight is his sub-set of Blind Faith tunes with Stevie Winwood. I haven't heard "Presence of the Lord" since I was 19 years old!!! Just superb. "Had to Cry Today" with Winwood and Clapton playing double lead is also excellent. This was worth the whole price of the DVD.
Yes, everyone has the items and artists they would wish for. This set does include Jeff Beck thankfully, but the whole show is well presented.
I am a Blues person but can appreciate Albert Lee and Vince Gill, too. This DVD will satisfy most musical tastes. The end with Buddy Guy, after ZZ Top in Texas, was also appropriate and proper even if Buddy did not have his incredible Sax player with him on the night. Buddy is a Chicago Blues icon and you could not have had a guitar show in Chicago without him. The final jam of the day "Sweet Home Chicago" with Buddy, John Mayer, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin and Eric was a perfect end to the show.
This DVD is a must for guitar fans of all genres. The extras include snippets of performances of Tab Benoit, with his 72 Telecaster Thinline, playing with Skunk Baxter, Harvey Mandel (a native of Chicago of Canned Heat fame) with his strange custom axe and a very attractive young woman "Orianthi" getting an interesting Blues sound out of a PRS.
It is commendable that this show is different and varied and is a great companion volume to the first Crossroads DVD. And this Chicago edition has the comic wit of Bill Murray--I loved his intro of Eric Clapton while he was dressed up like the Clapton of '68 with perm and painted Gibson SG- wow! Lastly, it was very interesting and touching to 58 year olds like me, who have played guitar all of our lives, when Bill came out at the start of the show and played "Gloria" ("the only song I can play") I am sure many many folks out there had a tear in their eye with that memory!
on November 24, 2007
There is bonus track packaging while supplies last from Best Buy and Target in which you get two extra tracks, but unfortunately neither version includes Jeff Beck's "A Day In The Life". I also was at the concert and it was indeed a highlight of the day. Release from the Where's Eric web site:
"In the United States, "exclusive editions" with additional tracks are being sold by retailers Best Buy and Target. ($10 cheaper on-line, my comment))
Best Buy's Exclusive Edition has two extra tracks: "Things Get Better(Got To Get Better") - the correct title for the song is "Got To Get Better In A Little While" - and "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad." Both were songs performed by Eric during the Derek And The Dominos era.
The Target Stores Exclusive Edition also has two extra tracks, different from those offered by Best Buy. They are "Cowboy Up" by country superstar Vince Gill and "Tear It Up", performed by Albert Lee and Vince Gill.
The bonus discs are not in the clamshell case, but are stored in a pocket in the cardboard outer packaging. The tracks are also listed on the outer packaging.
Store exclusive editions are generally only available while supplies last."
on November 24, 2007
Clapton's universal appeal and longtime assocations with other stellar guitarists once again pays off with a spectacular lineup on this DVD--a real who's who of guitarists. A lot of these guys are getting up there in age (as well as Clapton himself) and it's great to have such a gathering of legends documented on video. Sadly, stellar guitarists do not have the mainstream appeal they once enjoyed (just take a look at the crap on the current Top 40), so this high-profile video gives these artists, some of them somewhat obscure, the attention they deserve. Sonny Landreth, for one--AMAZING slide guitarist. Right up there with Derek Trucks (also prominently featured) even though his style is completely different. The only sore thumb in this lineup is Sheryl Crow--what was she doing there?? All the other featured acts were those with guitar prowess. Eric can invite anyone he wants, of course, but obviously she doesn't fit that category. Willie Nelson's "duet" with Crow was awful. If anything was going to be left on the "cutting room floor," as another reviewer noted about one of Jeff Beck's numbers, the Crow-Nelson duet should have been it. I too demand a re-release!
Overall though, a great DVD and highly recommended for all guitar buffs. The 4 hours will fly by! And get the Best Buy/Target version with the bonus extra DVD. It's only two more songs, but they're good ones.
on November 11, 2007
I was at this show. It was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. There were a few difficulties with the sound, but don't let that bother you- it was limited, and I don't think it will detract from the overall experience of watching this dvd. I've seen many shows over the years, but this was truly special. There were so many great artists, new and already established (icons, actually), that it created an electricity in the air that I believe will be apparent to all those that see this. There will be some people that single out things, and yes- it's a shame that Beck's performance of the Beatles' classic is missing; but trust me- this is a show that you'll want to own if you're a fan of even half of these artists. Truly special.
Great show from a great showman and his friends, playing solos, in duos, and in jams. This was a benefit for drug and alcohol addiction recovery at the Crossroads Centre, which Eric Clapton founded on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Legendary bluesmen Albert Lee, Sonny Landreth, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, and B.B. King all appear in multiple performances, as well as rockers Los Lobos, John Mayer, Robbie Robertson, Sheryl Crow, Jeff Beck, and Steve Winwood. A tip of the hat goes to jazz and country, as John McLaughlin, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson are also in the lineup. Clapton pays tribute to his dear departed friend George Harrison and, since Beck and Winwood are present, a number of the tracks revive hits by the Yardbirds, Blind Faith, and Traffic. Chicago-blues icon Buddy Guy wraps up the show with an all-star jam.
Since Amazon hasn't seen fit to post the tracks on these DVDs, allow me:
* Introduction - Bill Murray
* Uberesso - Sonny Landreth
* Hell At Home - Sonny Landreth with Eric Clapton
* Maharina - John McLaughlin
* Rosie - Doyle Bramhall II
* Outside Woman Blues - Doyle Bramhall II
* Little By Little - Susan Tedeschi with The Derek Trucks Band
* Anyday - The Derek Trucks Band
* Highway 61 Revisited - Johnny Winter with The Derek Trucks Band
* Nobodysoul - Robert Randolph & The Family Band
* Poor Johnny - The Robert Cray Band
* Dirty Work At The Crossroads - Jimmie Vaughan with The Robert Cray Band
* Sitting On Top Of The World - Hubert Sumlin with The Robert Cray Band & Jimmie Vaughan
* Paying The Cost To Be The Boss - B.B. King with The Robert Cray Band with Jimmie Vaughan & Hubert Sumlin
* Rock Me Baby - B.B. King with The Robert Cray Band with Jimmie Vaughan & Hubert Sumlin
* Sweet Thing - Vince Gill
* Country Boy - Albert Lee with Vince Gill
* If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow with Vince Gill & Albert Lee
* Tulsa Time - Sheryl Crow with Eric Clapton, Vince Gill & Albert Lee
* Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain - Willie Nelson with Vince Gill & Albert Lee
* On the Road Again - Willie Nelson with Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill & Albert Lee
* Belief - John Mayer
* Gravity - John Mayer
* Don't Worry Baby - Los Lobos
* Mas y Mas - Los Lobos
* Cause We've Ended As Lovers - Jeff Beck
* Big Block - Jeff Beck
* Tell the Truth - Eric Clapton
* Isn't It A Pity - Eric Clapton
* Little Queen of Spades - Eric Clapton
* Who Do You Love - Robbie Robertson with Eric Clapton
* Presence Of The Lord - Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
* Can't Find My Way Home - Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
* Had To Cry Today - Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
* Dear Mr. Fantasy - Steve Winwood
* Crossroads - Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood
* Mary Had A Little Lamb - Buddy Guy
* Damn Right I've Got The Blues - Buddy Guy
* Sweet Home Chicago - Buddy Guy with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, John Mayer, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan & Johnny Winter
on November 18, 2007
I must add my voice to the chorus. The first thing that I looked for when I saw the track listing was A Day in the Life by J Beck. It was gratifying to read the comments and realize that I was not alone in my disappointment. I also agree with Big Tom in that this and Isn't It a Pity were the 2 goosebumps musical moments at the show. Having said that, this is a pretty good representation of that great day in July. It looks like, unlike the previous Crossroads DVD, the incredible Sonny Landreth wasn't slighted this time around. Also kudos for the obvious inclusion of Dear Mr. Fantasy which proved that Mssr. Winwood could hold his own with the best of the guitar gunslingers that day. So I must end with this plea to Jeff Beck: How about a separate release of your entire set with the amazing Tal Wilkenfeld? I am sure that a few of us commentators would be first in line.
on November 24, 2007
The 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival dvd I think is a great representation of what happened that day in July. I wasn't there, but being the music geek that I am (and so many of my favorite artists on the bill) I watched the entire webcast. I know, I know, big loser, but I enjoyed it a lot. Sure, there are all songs that we all wish would've been on there. Jimmie doing 'Extra Jimmies', Jeff Beck doing 'A Day In The Life', Derek Trucks' smoking 'Sahib Teri Bandhi/Maki Madni.' Heck, Alison Krauss & Union Station played a very good set and aren't even included on the dvd! But overall, I do think this was better than the original Crossroads dvd, if for no other reason that they got Jeff Beck on there.
As I mentioned, in addition to Clapton, so many of my favorite artists were on this bill: Sonny Landreth, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin, BB King, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, John Mayer, Robert Randolph. Heck, I even enjoyed Sheryl Crow, and she stuck out like a sore thumb! I certainly couldn't say that about the first Crossroads dvd, where I found myself skipping through several of the acts. That certainly doesn't happen here, except for John McLaughlin. I know he's very talented and has earned a lot of respect, but his stuff does nothing for me.
For what it's worth, my ten favorite moments from this dvd are, in no order:
1.Bill Murray and Eric Clapton's opening of the festival
2.Sonny Landreth and Eric Clapton jamming together
3.Derek Trucks and Johnny Winter on 'Highway 61 Revisited'
4.Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi on 'Little By Little'
5.BB King's toast to Eric Clapton
6. John Mayer's 'Belief'
7.Los Lobos' 'Don't Worry Baby'
8.Jeff Beck's 'Because We've Ended As Lovers'
9.Clapton's entire set including Steve Winwood and Robbie Robertson
10.Buddy Guy's entire set
For me, this was an enjoyable dvd to watch, and I'm sure it won't leave my player for quite some time.
on November 20, 2007
It's good for what it is, but it is missing the best tracks of several of the performers. Many people have mentioned A day in the Life by Jeff Beck, which I agree should have been included. Also, I Don't Need No Doctor, the Ray Charles cover that John Mayer did was one of the top 4 songs of the show and should have made the cut as well.
Also, I hope they fixed the awful sound that was on the webcast. For example, Eric Clapton only played lead guitar for two of his songs, for the rest, Derek Trucks played lead. However, Eric Clapton's guitar was miked about 5 times louder than Trucks. Same with Buddy Guy's "All Star" set, with Buddy Guy and Clapton's guitars the only one's audible, even when it was Hubert Sumlin, Robert Cray, or John Mayer playing the solo.
on February 5, 2008
Sometimes an event has repercussions beyond its own timeframe. Festivals are intended to be entertaining, but sometimes that isn't even the case. You need look no further than the Festival at Altamont to find an example of festival-dom gone seriously wrong, but occasionally the stars align in just the sequence, making an event feel special as it is happening, and continue to feel special after it is long over. Woodstock was like that. A few of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals have been like that, and the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival was also like that.
A few years ago, Eric Clapton helped to fund the opening of the Crossroads Centre, a treatment facility for alcoholism and drug addiction located in Antigua. Proceeds from the festival and the DVD benefit the Crossroads Centre, so the cause can make you feel good while the awesome music contained in this program can make you feel even better. Clapton pulled out all the stops on this one, inviting friends who he felt not only fit the bill musically, but also worked with the appropriate attitude of camaraderie and openness. The resultant mood is apparent from the minute the show starts, and it continues to the very end. Sonny Landreth starts things off by performing one of his flashier numbers, called "Uberesso," and he smokes it. Clapton then joins him and their duet is jaw-dropping in its execution. John McLaughlin follows (where the heck has he been?) as does Hubert Sumlin, Vince Gill, Jimmie Vaughan, Albert Lee, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph, Johnny Winter, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson...and that is just disk one. Special mention should be made of the husband-wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, whose performance was so good that I felt myself tearing up. Tedeschi is under-rated and under-recognized, as her guitar/vocal performance here clearly indicates. Another touching moment occurs when B.B, King pays a tribute to Clapton's sense of humanity before ripping into a devastating version of "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss."
Disk two brings out the big guns like John Mayer, Los Lobos, Robbie Robertson and Jeff Beck. If you don't know it already, Mayer capably proves that he belongs on the bill with such magnificent musicians, while Los Lobos and Jeff Beck fully live up to their reputations. At this point, Eric Clapton emerges for his set, and he is in full `Derek & the Dominos' mode, with Derek Trucks playing like a virtual Duane Allman, while the double drumming rhythm section provides enough drive to thrust the band into the next county. The night is full of special guests and special moments, but perhaps the premier special moment happens when Steve Winwood joins Eric Clapton for a run through some of the material that they made famous together nearly forty years ago as Blind Faith. Buddy Guy closes the event, and he plays with such intensity and fire that you'd be forgiven to think it was his show. All in all there's approximately four hours of guitar-based music on these disks, and hardly a dull moment. `Crossroads' is a must for all fans of blues-based rock and roll guitar, but it also required viewing for all fans of blues-based rock and roll. A- Tom Ryan
on January 2, 2008
Fret-grinders everywhere are in hog heaven over this edition of Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. I play guitar and EC is one of my heroes, and his playing on this video is very inspired, and believe so for two reasons: the presence of Derek Trucks, possibly the best electric slide man alive, and Steve Winwood.
Some of the ensemble rhythm sections that play behind the artists are beefy and sizeable (two drummers and percussionists), yet the music doesn't suffer (it's not easy to get a group of 7-10 players to play in unison, no matter how great they are, but these are obviously well-cast players who listen and are quick studies).
The highlights on the disks for me were Sony Landreth's smoking instrumental, "Uberesso", "Anyday" (an old Derek and the Dominos tune) by Susan Tedeschi and Trucks' Band, John Mayer's "Gravity", Los Lobos' "Mas Y Mas" and Clapton's visitations of his classics, like, " Tell the Truth", "Presence of the Lord" and the songs with Steve Winwood, who is in fine voice and form. It was nice to see Jerry Douglas playing slide on a Telecaster during the Willie Nelson songs, which is a rare sight. If there is one track that absolutely floored me, it was the blues tune Clapton fronts, entitled, "Little Queen of Spades." Frankly, it's some of Clapton's best live playing in a long time.
Jeff Beck: would loved to have seen his performance of "A Day in the Life", which is astonishing. His lady bassist is quite capable, but he seems a bit too deferential towards her. Great to see Johnny Winter playing his old Gibson Firebird, but would have preferred seeing him play "Highway 61" at his breakneck pace a la mid-70s. The ensemble jams, as they have been with both Crossroads editions, have been the weakest or mediocre at best, but nice to see if only for historical purposes.
Wishes for future editions: extras, like interviews with all the artists talking about guitar! If they were still alive, SRV and Jimi would be there, and would be interested hearing perspectives on them from the players. Who else should play in future: more Nashville pickers like Brent Mason! Robben Ford and Larry Carlton, Bill Nelson from Be Bop Deluxe, jazz/fusion man Steve Khan, Chuck Berry, and Ricky Skaggs, to name a few. More women players, like Bonnie Raitt. How about some whackos, like Junior Brown, just to keep things a bit off kilter? However, Clapton has made it known that any guitarist that is an A****le as a person would never be invited to play at this event. I support that notion! Rock on, Eric and Company!