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4.4 out of 5 stars
Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival
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125 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2004
Format: DVD
This DVD set attempts to capture a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was at the Crossroads Festival both days that there were performances. Sure, there are parts I would like to see on the DVD that were cut, but obviously they could not put TWO DAYS of music on two DVDs. As some of the other reviews indicated, I too would love to see a volume 3 and 4, but highly doubt that will happen.

It was a grand event for a grand cause and I would not have missed it for anything. I equate some of the complaints about the DVD set (yea, the sound could be a little better, but it is still VERY GOOD quality) to some of the whining I heard while walking back to my car at the Cottonbowl that Sunday night. People had seen hour after hour after hour of amazing music performances by the top guitarists in the world and were actually whining and cursing about the "finale" being cut. I don't blame the promoters, the weather was looking quite bad. At the end of the day, you had gotten many times your money's worth and then some.

The DVD set is but a small snapshot of a really fantastic music event. That is all. It is like the photo you take on vacation. It is but a small window, a reminder, of a really nice event that took place and I was truly glad to be there to see it.

Good DVD. I was ready to buy it the second that I read that there was to be a DVD released. If you were there, the DVD is a great reminder. If you were not there, the DVD will make you wish that you had been.
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200 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was lucky to attend the festival in Dallas this summer. While the songs selected for the DVD aren't always the ones I would have picked (Buddy Guy blew everyone else away, but he is conspicuously absent except for the ensemble numbers), this is nontheless sure to be a great DVD. Clapton was brilliant as usual, Santana was fantastic and ZZ Top were their usual eccentric selves.

John Mayer, Jonny Lang and Robert Randolph were all excellent newcomers in the mostly over-50 lineup. Jimmie Vaughan and his Tilt-a-whirl band served as a fantastic houseband, backing up the many blues legends on hand.

Some disappointing omissions ... Robert Randolph's "I Need More Love" ,a surprising show-stealer on the second day of the festival is not listed. Same with John Mayer's "Come Back To Bed". Styx put on a surprisingly good set of cover tunes, from the Beatles' "I Am The Walrus" to BB King's "The Thrill Is Gone". Also, Eric Clapton's set on the third day included a nice selection of songs from his new album of Robert Johnson covers that are omitted here.

That said, I still pre-ordered my copy as soon as I saw it announced. They could have made it a four disc set with more material and doubled the price and I still would have bought it.
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135 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2004
Format: DVD
The Crossroads Guitar Festival will go down in history as one of the greatest gatherings of guitarists ever. The 2 DVD set features performance footage in 5.1 Surround Sound, artist interviews and a photo gallery.

Disc one:

"Cocaine," Eric Clapton

"Love in Vain Blues," Robert Lockwood Jr.

"Killing Floor," Clapton, Robert Cray, Hubert Sumlin and Jimmie Vaughan

"Sweet Home Chicago," Clapton, Cray, Buddy Guy, Sumlin and Vaughan

"Six Strings Down," Clapton, Cray, Robert Randolph and Vaughan

"Rock Me Baby," Clapton, Guy, B.B. King and Vaughan

"I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow," Dan Tyminski and Ron Block

"Road to Nash Vegas," Tyminski and Block

"Copperline," James Taylor with Jerry Douglas

"Steamroller," Taylor and Joe Walsh

"Oklahoma Borderline," Vince Gill and Douglas

"What the Cowgirls Do," Gill and Douglas

"After Midnight," J.J. Cale with Clapton

"Call Me the Breeze," Cale with Clapton

"March," Robert Randolph & the Family Band

"Green Light Girl," Doyle Bramhall II

"Incident at Neshabur," Carlos Santana

"Jingo," Santana with Clapton

"City Love," John Mayer

"Your Body Is a Wonderland," Mayer

Disc two:

"Rag Bihag," Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

"Tones for Elvin Jones," John McLaughlin

"Josie," Larry Carlton

"Question and Answer," Pat Metheny

"Going Down Slow," Honeyboy Edwards

"Time Makes Two," Robert Cray

"Give Me Up Again," Jonny Lang

"Neighborhood," David Hildago

"Whispering a Prayer," Steve Vai

"Desert Rose," Eric Johnson

"Funk 49," Joe Walsh

"Rocky Mountain Way," Walsh

"I Shot the Sheriff," Clapton

"Blues in C," Clapton

"Cause We've Ended as Lovers," Clapton and Jeff Beck

"La Grange," ZZ Top

"Tush," ZZ Top

ZRock features exclusive Crossroads Guitar Festival coverage, including photos, interviews, event details, and media reviews. I was onsite for the full three days of the festival and witnessed the magic first hand. This DVD set captures the magic and preserves the history for generations to come. "Sweet Home Chicago" and the performances by Honeyboy Edwards and Robert Lockwood, Jr. were true history in the making. This is a must-have for music fans!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2005
Format: DVD
What can I say? Clapton fan or not, this 2 dvd set is an awesome addition to one's musical collection. Over three hours of music which still doesn't cover all of the greatness of the Festival, yet it's easily a classic dvd. Eric, Jonny Lang, Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Dan Tyminski, Doyle Bramhall II, ZZ Top, Larry Carlton, etc. There is such a vast span of the musical forum with these artists. Different styles, different ages, different tones, etc.

Some of the highlights for me.

First, of course, Eric. Cocaine is rockin'. I Shot The Sheriff shows why it's such a highlight through the years, but even more so this last tour. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day is a just a steamroller of the blues, and Have You Ever Loved A Woman is beautiful as always.

Then of course there is the blues jams. Eric, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and Jimmie Vaughan onstage together. It's something to see them just having fun and is one of the showstoppers of the whole event. Then Hubert Sumlin joins for a song, and later B.B. King is thrown into the mix as well. This jam session basically allows for Buddy to really show off his style on Sweet Home Chicago. And to see Buddy urging Eric on during his solo until Eric just points and him and laughs. Classic.

Rock Me Baby let's us all see that B.B. King hasn't lost any showmanship even if he does approach his music from a different direction than he did 40 years ago.

Jonny Lang has one song on this dvd, and it's from his latest album, Long Time Coming. The song, Give Me Up Again, is one of my favorites from the new album, so it's nice to see it live. Jonny is one who is the future when it comes to guitar. He's amazing for his age, and he's been just about that good since he was a teenager. I love his expression and passion when playing. And hopefully when you see him, if you don't know much, you'll be tempted to find out more. Maybe he'll be one of your favorite guitarists as he is one of mine.

Doyle Bramhall II has one song on this dvd as well with Green Light Girl. He gives a great performance, and you can see Eric really enjoying the song over to the side of the stage. Why wouldn't he? Doyle is fantastic!

It was good to see Santana for one song which brought out Clapton again. You can tell they really enjoy playing together, and the song rocked the house.

J.J. Cale gave two nice performances with After Midnight and Call Me The Breeze. Clapton played guitar on both songs, and right before After Midnight Cale tried to get Eric to sing. You can see Eric shaking his head and saying no. I guess that goes back to him enjoying being the sideman for a bit of time.

One person I discovered while watching this dvd was Dan Tyminski. I had heard his music before with I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow, but I guess I never paid a lot of attention. Naturally, being at the show, he's a good guitarist, but I loved everything about the song including the guitar work. He also did a song called Road To Nash Vegas which isn't too bad.

ZZ Top were very good, but I thought for an ending it could have been better. At least feature one different ZZ Top song over the very well known Tush and La Grange. Speaking of ZZ Top it's too bad the final night's pending storm stopped their stage time with Eric. That would have been killer to end the dvd I'm sure.

It goes on and on -- Rocky Mountain Way - Joe Walsh, Neighborhood - David Hidalgo, Josie - Larry Carlton, Steamroller - James Taylor w/ Joe Walsh, etc. It could have kept going such as Eric and Jeff Beck doing Cause We've Ended As Lovers which was omitted along with other performances. All in all a dvd well worth the money. Besides the performances their is artist interviews, photo gallery, and you can access solos of the songs.

And before I forget I should mention there is a hidden song on this dvd. Go to the extras section on disc 2, press the left button so nothing is highlighted on the menu, then press enter. Now, sit back, and enjoy LAYLA!!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2005
Format: DVD
If you love all things guitar then you won't go wrong with this DVD. Great sound, good visuals, huge variety. But the strength of variety is also the greatest weakness.

In some ways you do not want to criticise as there really are some superb tracks on this double DVD. The frustration for those like me who couldn't be there is that we missed so much. You can't help noticing this during the DVD. I saw Pat Metheny being hugged but didn't hear a note from him, as others have noted the great Dennis Chambers on drums, yet we don't see him while he solos and we hardly see the maestro, Steve Gadd. I suggest too diverse a range was attempted to be captured for the 2 disc DVD. I don't want to see two ZZ Top numbers at the expense of not seeing Jeff Beck. Why three tracks with Joe Walsh and only one of Larry Carlton? As much as I enjoy Vai, this track seems so out of place. This DVD should have rather just been a blues/Clapton DVD rather than an uneven hotch-potch.

Overall, I'll keep and enjoy this well recorded DVD, but there will always be a little frustration of what could have been. If you want a taster of the variety of guitaring on show then this will not disappoint.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was also fortunate enough to be at this concert in person on Sunday, the final day. There were three songs that day that totally blew me, and ALL of them were omitted from this DVD:

1) The opening National Anthem, with Neal Schon on lead guitar and the popular Randy Jackson on bass... my guess is that this was omitted because there was a time at the end of the song when something happened to the mikes or the drum set, and they only played the cymbals for about 5 minutes, but that came at the very end of the anthem, so it could have easily been faded out

2) Jeff Beck... he only played ONE song in this concert (Cause We Ended As Lovers) because they were running short on time and the rain was approaching, but it was definitely one of the best songs of the entire event.

3) BB King / Buddy Guy / John Mayer / Eric Clapton combo. I think they could put out a whole DVD for just the one hour BB King set. When BB was trading licks with Buddy Guy, Mayer and Clapton (with Vaughn butting in here and there), that was possibly the best concert experience of my lifetime. Every few minutes, another guitar superstar would pull up a folding chair and start cranking. Sure, there were a lot of screw ups during the set, but the free-form trading of licks between these huge guitar legends should not have been left off. One BB King song... but two from Vince Gill and JJ Cale? What were they thinking???

Anyway, other than that, I am EXTREMELY impressed with both the audio and video quality of this DVD. I just hope they put out a DISK 3 sometime with the rest of the good songs.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I've been playing guitar for 25 years and I love DVD concerts that feature guitar. Clapton's Crossroads festival is a heapin' helpin' showcase for some of the best fret-grinders in history. The best part is you don't have to get blasted by the Texas heat in Dallas' Cotton Bowl to enjoy it!

With a line-up that reperesents many in the constellation of all-time guitar greats, some of the finest players shown on the DVD turn in mediocre performances, and some of these you might think less of, are absolutely killer. I find most of the ensemble performances are lukewarm, including those with BB, Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Jimmie Vaughan. Buddy DOES play great, no question, and he really stands out. But I saw Jimmie Vaughan play live last year and he was awesome. The playing I saw on this DVD of him was pretty tepid. His requiem to his lengendary brother Stevie, "Six Strings Down", is pretty weak, but is rescued by the addition of pedal steel phenom Robert Randolph, who turns in a sizzling performance. Other disappointments include Eric Johnson. His "Desert Rose" is one of his showcase pieces and he labors through it on this disk. Johnny Langs hardly plays a guitar solo on his featured song. Why the hell was that tune even put on the disk?

The Great stuff: Steve Vai and his over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek antics are amazing. Beat-up and haggard, JJ Cale is sublimely great. James Taylor, as usual, plays with great warmth and subtlelty, and is accompanied by dobro giant Jerry Douglas, whom he refers to as "The Muhammad Ali of Dobro", and also by Joe Walsh. It is Joe Walsh, in my opinion, who steals the DVD's show. His electric blues-drenched stylings dipped into a bucket of digital delay is pure candy and heaven for guitar aficionados' ears. I've never been a big fan of his, even though he's a respected player. Joe's blues intro in his own set will floor you. His tone and phrasing are fantastic. John Mayer surprised the hell out of me...thought he was just a pretty boy, but he's an excellent electric guitarist. Carlos Santana and Clapton play a guitar duel in the classic , "Jingo." Country player Vince Gill plays some hot Telecaster licks in his set, esp. on "Oklahoma Borderline." Finally, Clapton himself plays some great stuff, clearly inspired, and he sings with a passion that burns.

Other issues: the sound mix has problems at times...the overall level dips now and again through Vai's song and Gills' "Oklahoma Borderline." Some of the audience reaction shots make the crowd look dazed and like they don't understand what they're seeing/hearing. Maybe it's just the Dallas heat and dehydration at work. Some of those shots look so out of place they appear to be taken from songs other than the one they're married to on disk. And the director makes some strange choices, as in Gills' "Oklahahoma Borderline," he gets confused and calls for the camera on Jerry Doulglas while Gill is playing a solo (I have not looked at the alt. angles yet).

Finally, we see or hear snippets of some other players not on the disk: Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, John McGlaughlin and Neal Schon. Schon's "Star Spangled Banner" is heard on closing titles and sounds great. One can only hope those and the rest of the omitted performances are being saved for a Volume II.

Issues aside, I really like this DVD and show highlights from it to all my music aficionado pals, who end up digging it as much as I do.

Take it to the bridge!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2007
Format: DVD
Eric Clapton did a fabulous job in organizing a rare collection of guitar talent to perform at this three-day festival in Texas. It is as much a treat to see the legendary bluesmen Buddy Guy and B.B. King onstage with Eric, as it is to see fret-shreddin' Steve Vai, Jimmy Vaughn and Johnny Lang.

The music is blues-based, but many different styles and flavors are present: old-style blues, cultural (Indian), jazz, blues-rock and rock. Although there were time considerations in editing the footage of this CD, the "best of the best" is represented here.

One of the key highlights of this show is Robert Randolph, a new Jersey native, who played the pedal steel guitar in a cross between the styles of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I have never seen anything like it and he clearly made his mark in this performance, appearing onstage several times.

Some of the tunes were inspirational enough to pick up the guitar, turn on the amp and play along, as some of my favorite musicians played onstage. I would recommend watching in this in 5.1 on a home-theater system, as the presence of the music is much more realized.

I disagree with Amazon's assessment that ZZ Top as a closing act was anti-climactic. The group is monumental in the history of rock and they are at the top of the Texas blues-rock genre. I saw it as befitting to have them close this show, especially in the state of Texas.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2005
Format: DVD
i too was blessed with the opportunity to attend this once in a lifetime event. although i was not there for all three days ( i flew in from Tampa for the Sunday big show) this was by far the finest guitar preformance i have ever witnessed in person. and as a 50 yo kid i have seen quite a few shows. i recomend this to all fans of the guitar as an instrument of communication. plus....being actually in the video was special, lol.i ended up front row dead center in between the two stages set in one end of the Cotton Bowl. This video accurately captires the spirit of the event. This was not a show for a fan of one musical genre, but a fan of the guitar in its entirety. as Clapton says in one interview "I wrote to everyone i wanted to hear play....and they all showed up". buy this dvd and you will not be dissatisfied......
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
Format: DVD
I have been waiting for this to come out - I was there in Dallas for the festival, stayed in the same hotel as the artists and saw them milling about the entire weekend-

I have read the posted song listings that include "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" performed by Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton... Well, I pick up my copy and lo and behold - it has been left out!! With all the stellar performances that weekend, this one was left off the final pressing! Jeff Beck must have nixed it at the last minute - what a disappointment!! Best song of the entire show!! - BUMMED OUT IN HOUSTON.....
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