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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 9, 2010
Crossroads 2010 is around four and a half hours of pure great guitar playing, filmed nearly perfectly, with fantastic sound. This is an amazing concert film.

I was at Crossroads 2010; the really great parts of the concert are here on this DVD. The really low points were gratefully left off, namely Citizen Cope and Johnny Winter (Winter was virtually carried on stage, and was so far out of tune and rhythm, Derek Trucks had to rescue him). November 9, 2010 is the release date of this DVD, any reviews prior to that date are simply conjecture on what may or may not be on this DVD, and are likely about the theatrical release of this film. I would also say that the Best Buy bonus disc is not worth chasing after. Another reviewer mentioned the songs included those were all my least favorite performances of the day, and mostly belonged on the cutting room floor anyway. Behind the scenes footage, during the standard four and a half hours there is just enough behind the scenes shown. The talking head pieces are more than enough for my taste. I'm not interested in more.

There are thirty performances on this two disc DVD. Every guitarist is famous in one circle or another; these are big names in the industry. Yes, Eric and BB are the best known. The sound choice on the DVD is simple - straight stereo for the purist or DTS surround. Both sound great. The sound mix was done to perfection. They chose to package this DVD in the old DVD-Audio cases, slightly larger than a CD case, and with a snap shut mechanism to open.

This is concert coverage at its best. Camera movement is kept to a minimum, shots are steady, rarely is focus missed, and there aren't a million short cuts trying to follow the music or tons of cuts back to crazy hippie dancers in the audience. The film tries very hard to let the music speak for itself and focus on the performers. Unfortunately there are a number of interviews or talking head moments in the film. About half are good and informative, the rest are really annoying. Sadly there was some voice over during performances by Sonny Landreth, Bert Jansch, and Earl Klugh. In a way, the editor is saying, folk music, jazz, and instrumental is boring, he needed to spice things up with commentary. The film opens with a hokey drive around Chicago in an old convertible. I would have preferred one more song instead of this lead in.

Every Bill Murray introduction is included. At the concert, Bill was hilarious. On DVD, I'm not sure he is that funny. The finale, which felt like fireworks to me, was cut short. BB King and around twenty guitarists played Sweet Home Chicago - the sound was amazing.

There is a huge difference between sitting one hundred yards away, listening to the PA mix, and the fine intimate clear mix the film captured. Some energy was lost in the mixing, but mostly clarity of the voices was hugely improved.

My highlights for the day - Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Keb' Mo', Jeff Beck (his new bassist is amazing), and BB King. By far the highest energy performance of the day was Buddy Guy. He was lit up that day, and it shines through on the DVD. The lowest of the low, Johnny Winter, Citizen Cope, Jimmie Vaughan (I despised his horning in on Robert Cray's performance when Hubert Sumlin pointedly says Robert is going to do this next song), and ZZ Top (at the concert they phoned in their performance, it was impossible to hear any vocals - in the remix for the DVD that was corrected). And I know this is heresy, but Eric Clapton did not perform very well during his set. He was outstanding when he sat in with other performers. But when it came time to do his set, his voice seemed very tired and that he just wasn't into the performance. I saw Clapton a few years ago and had a similar feeling.

DVD Number one, roughly the first half of the concert, opens with Sonny Landreth demonstrating that he is an incredible guitarist. There are so many close ups of him working the strings and frets, there is a major guitar lesson in there. The Robert Randolph & Family Band play some great slide guitar - Joe Bonamassa steps in for one song. Robert Cray with Hubert Sumlin and the awful Jimmie Vaughan (The Famous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray's brother) perform two songs. ZZ Top follows up with two songs each - on disc these are nice, in the concert they were terrible. Doyle Bramhall II is involved in the next four songs. Sheryl Crow leads a bunch of artists for two songs - the saving grace is Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Bert Jansch is apparently a fantastically popular folk singer in Great Britain. He sat in a chair center stage with his acoustic guitar. His playing is impressive, but he was a significant buzz kill at the concert. One of his songs is represented here. Stefan Grossman and Keb' Mo' are spectacular doing some very quite simple blues. Keb' Mo' is an artist to listen to, he is amazing. Then there are two songs by the most confusing performer at this concert, Vince Gill. Fortunately, he was backed by some amazing guitarists. The talking head moments with Vince are mostly about how he isn't sure he belongs at this concert. Yes Country music arrives at a guitar concert. On the DVD the two songs are not bad. Earl Klugh turns in two amazing classical guitar jazz pieces. Klugh is a master on the guitar. Like Gill and Jansch, his music didn't blend well with the rest of the show. And finally, the most controversial artist of the day, closes out disc one with two songs. I hate John Mayer as much as the next person; he is a slime bucket extraordinaire. I've always hated the grimaces he makes on stage, mostly can't stand to watch him, and can't figure out why BB King even bothers with this nut. But, if I close my eyes and forget that this performance is John Mayer, he does an amazing job at this concert.

Disc two is the real gem in this DVD set. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are incredible. I love Susan's voice and her guitar playing. She carries the blues in a totally different fashion from all other female blues players. She's not the belt it out Koko Taylor type, but the subtle clean delivery. Thankfully the Trucks family was well represented on disc two. Warren Haynes does some great guitar playing and vocals. Los Lobos guys show up. The first five songs are just some great collaborative playing by great musicians. As the corner is turned to the last part of the disc, Bill Murray does his best introduction of the day. He essentially says, they got rid of the lousy bands, they're all in the bus and leaving, now it's time for only the good stuff. Well heck yes!!! Buddy Guy comes out swinging for two songs. I love the moment when Guy breaks a string (slow motion is so great on a DVD), Ronnie Wood tries to give him his guitar, Guy keeps singing and playing, and finally he's presented with his signature white and black polka dot guitar. Instantly he was off playing. I yelled Buddy Guy at the concert until I couldn't speak anymore. Today, I yelled it in my living room. Buddy Guy! Then Jeff Beck plays two amazing songs. His new group is fantastic. His new bass player isn't nearly as cute as his previous one. I'll take strong great bass player any day over a perky young Australian player.

Eric Clapton performs on the next seven songs. The Citizen Cope collaboration was the worst track of the entire two disc set - Hands of the Saints was pure listening pain for me. Dear Mr. Fantasy with Steve Winwood was so remarkable to me. Other artists tried some Jimi Hendrix songs (thankfully those massacres were left off the DVD), Winwood and Clapton did a decent job on Voodoo Chile.

By far the absolute best performance of the day was BB King sitting down with Lucille (oh the close ups of him playing are spectacular), Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Jimmie Vaughan to play The Thrill is Gone. Roughly fifteen minutes long, the song ends with all the guitarists still in the house playing along. It was a magic moment. Granted the director had to decide when to stop. However, in the concert BB goes on to tell a good ten minute story about women, and then the entire group of thirty or so musicians, did a twenty minute Sweet Home Chicago. I honestly felt like they had lit off fireworks it was that amazing.

Given the difficult choices of the music to include in a very long concert, I think the director did a very fine job capturing the feeling of the day. This is by far much better than the previous Crossroads DVD. For over four hours today, I relived that incredibly hot day in Chicago. This was my fourteen year old son's first rock concert ever. How many people can say, the first concert they ever saw live was Crossroads and have a fantastic DVD to remember it by? This is a special disc for many reasons.
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on November 9, 2010
I agree with the first reviewer's opinion. However, the Best Buy Exclusive 3 Disc Set has expired. Now, they only have the same 2 DVD version as Amazon. If you can find one available, the bonus third dvd includes 5 extra performances, plus an interview with Eric Clapton. The 3rd Bonus dvd includes Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood's "Glad", Sheryl Crow's "Everday is a Winding Road", Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band's "Love Has Something Else to Say", Gary Clark Jr.'s "Don't Owe You a Thang", & Citizens Cope's "Son's Gonna Rise".

As far as the basic 2 dvds go, this is "Guitar Heaven". Like Buddy Guy states during one of his performances, "I don't know how you feel, but I feel like I'm in Heaven". I love all of this guitar festival. If you like guitar rock, it doesn't get any better than this. Bill Murray is an excellent host as usual. Plus, the mutual respect and camaraderie amoung the guitarists and musicians is great to see. Plus, there are great commentaries by some of the guitarists themselves. You can tell they are all glad to be there, performing with each other. It's a great atmosphere.

Some of my personal favorites include the performances by Sonny Landreth, from my home state of Louisiana. He plays the guitar in a Louisiana, Cajun/Zydeco style, called "Slydeco". Also, there's Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Robert is awesome on his pedel steel guitar. I like the tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan "Six Strings Down" by Jimmy Vaughan and others. I like Hubert Sumlin, he's a living blues legend, and he's still full of passion for the blues. I like ZZ Top, Doyle Bramhall II, & Gary Clark Jr., all from Texas. I like James Burton from Louisiana, on "Mystery Train" & other songs. James Burton started playing guitar on the Louisiana Hayride Radio Program, when he was 14 years old. He was in Elvis' TCB Band (Taking Care of Business). Also, he was one of the first "sidemen" inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I really enjoyed the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band's performances, this is their first debut on a dvd, as a reorgainized new band. I love Derek's slide guitar playing. He is a master of the slide guitar, plus Susan is great on guitar, and a great vocalist also. I liked all the collaborations of different musicians playing together. I liked Warren Haynes, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Buddy Guy, Ron Wood, Johnny Lang, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and all the rest. I really liked Buddy Guy's perfomances, especially the Stone's "Miss You", where he breaks a guitar string, and handles it gracefully, and then is handed another guitar. Plus I loved the grand finale, "The Thrill is Gone", by B.B.King (another living blues legend) & Ensemble.

If you liked the first two EC's Guitar Festival DVD's, then you'll certainly enjoy this one, for sure. These festivals just keep getting better and better. Thanks!!!
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on October 18, 2010
yeah yeah yeah...go ahead and comment or say this review wasn't helpful...whatever, I don't care...but what I do care is about getting the most bang for my buck...this blu ray release (priced $27.99 at time of review) is also available for pre order at best buy for only 21.99 with FREE shipping and you get a bonus disk of 5 extra performances...now if I don't call that helpful to know I don't know what is.

Updated best buy bonus disc info

01. Gary Clark Jr. - Don't Owe You A Thang
02. Sheryl Crow - Everyday Is A Winding Road
03. Citizen Cope - Son's Gonna Rise
04. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band - Love Has Something Else To Say
05. Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Glad
06. Eric Clapton Interview
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on November 24, 2010
I purchased the DVD and watched it last night. I have the shows from past years and this one does not have the pop that the others do. The artist lineup had the potential to really wow the concert goer but IMO was a little lackluster. My biggest disappointment was the video editing which is probably the main reason this rated a 3. Too many out of focus shots coming into focus, shots of the audience clapping instead of focusing on the artist, jumping to new shots so fast it really took away from the performance. I think the guy was trying to be too artsy-fartsy in the editing room and really messed up a good concert for those of us who were not actually there. If you buy this do yourself a favor and just pay attention to the audio and you will love the concert. If you do not have the previous years you are missing out on some first rate shows.
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on August 19, 2010
I was at the Crossroads 2010 show and eagerly awaited the theatrical release. The first thing you have to realize is that nothing, not a 2 hour movie or a 4 hour DVD will capture what it was like to have actually seen some of the brilliant performances of that day. The editing was shaky at best but the sound was quite good (I'm sure the sound varied greatly depending on the theater). Although I was dissapointed in the movie, I'd see it again and here's why. The movie missed a lot of the high points of the 11 hour show, but it caught enough to remind me of how great the entire experience had been, and that's all I asked for. I was pleasently surprised at the applause in the theater after some of the better performances. The most dissapointing thing about the movie was the performances that weren't included. John Mayer, Buddy Guy, and Jeff Beck all played sets that deserved complete coverage (and I would pay money to buy a DVD). "Going Down", "Killing Floor", "La Grange", "Mystery Train", and "Comin' Home" were all songs I was sad didn't make the cut. And although he didn't add a whole lot musically, Bill Murray's intro's were hysterical. Addressing a negative critism: I don't know what a "I-IV-V progression in G with a capo" is, but I could watch Robert Randolph, Jimmie Vaughn, and Hubert Sumlin play it all day!(I've seen a lot of pictures of Muddy Waters with a capo and I heard he's pretty good!). I'm quite sure the DVD will capture more of the esscence of the complete concert, but, as we all know, that's impossible.
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on July 14, 2011
This is great stuff. A two DVD set with 40 cuts of music that nobody seems to make anymore. I am 63 and like most all jams that have been made over the years. I am partial to old rock and blues. Some of my old favorites like Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, and Jeff Beck, still play with the same feeling as always. Saw a short version of "Crossroads" on PBS and immediately checked Amazon to see if it was available. As luck would have it, it was there. Checkout the artists names. If you remember and enjoyed there sound from another time, you are going to want this 2 DVD set. Well put together. Enjoy.
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on November 25, 2010
If anybody saw Clapton and Bonamassa play together @ Royal Albert Hall, you would realize this DVD could have used a whole lot more JB and a lot less of a LARGE number of participants here..
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on June 26, 2011
That Clapton continues to keep the flame of continuity of blues (and other genres) going is something for which music lovers owe him a great debt of gratitude. Unfortunately, some links in this chain are getting on in years and are more nostalgia items now to be wheeled on stage to be admired for what they used to be able to do rather than what they are now capable of. The end of the show with BB was almost tragic - the guy is in bad shape and can barely play - but then again he's been going at it since the early 1950s. The three guys playing with him had looks in their eyes that were heart breaking. Sumlin is still pretty feisty but I'm not sure Winter still has a pulse. I'm not knocking these guys (and I'm no Spring Chicken), all of whom were great in their day, but their day has passed; better to remember them as they were and not haul them up on stage. Just to finish with my negatives, a few of the artist selections were just plain weird, and some song selections by the non-weird were rather pedestrian. Teaming up certain guys to play with eachother seems to me to dilute their individual talents, like having Guy, Lang and Wood all go at the same song at the same time; putting folks together who don't normally play with eachother tends to erase their individual genius. However, there is plenty to like in this DVD: The Nashville players were great - the high point of the show in my book, along with a blazing Sonny Landreth at the start - and Trucks-Tedeschi-Hayes did a nice job, Cray was, as usual, on the mark, as was Beck and others. Some of Clapton's solos were trademark fantastic - how this guy avoids all-too-predicable riffs getting from point A to B while finding the perfect note every time still remains jaw dropping, but why play "I Shot the Sheriff" - yet again at Crossroads? Audio quality is good as is photograhy in my book. All-in-all, while we hope Clapton will keep this event rolling in the future as well as paying his respects to the greats who came before him, this event needs some new blood and formatting - and there is no lack of players out there who would give their right arm to be on this stage.
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on August 25, 2013
I only gave this dvd 3-stars because I didn't care for several of the guitarist on the card + there was only glimpses of some of the better ones. Rather than do an in depth critique, I realize that my taste are entirely different from many others, and just say the selection of guitarists and their song selections could have been better. For me the best segment of the dvd was played by Vince Gill and the group of guitarists accompanying him.
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on September 24, 2015
If you only get one Crossroads Guitar Festival disc, this is the one to get. Every performance is great, every artist fully on her/his game. This video is fully worth the price for Jeff Beck's interpretation of Nessun Dorma alone. Who would have thought that Giacomo Puccini's great aria from Turandot could ever sound this soulful on a Stratocaster? If it doesn't melt your heart, then buddy you need a transplant. The rest of the show will not disappoint you either. Absolutely wonderful.
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