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Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival
DVD + Audio CD
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In June 2004, some of the greatest living guitar players and their bands gathered at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, for a three-day festival to benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. It was the ultimate concert for any music lover, featuring one legend after the other: Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson, James Taylor, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph, Santana, ZZ Top, and many more. This 2-DVD set beautifully documents the event and contains over 4 hours of content. Planned extras include in-depth artist interviews, a mini-documentary, photo gallery, alternate angle, and more. Royalties from the DVD sales will benefit the Crossroads Center.
Although it could have been twice as long, this double-DVD set effectively captures over three hours of highlights from one of the most comprehensive and diverse collection of guitarists ever assembled for a single event. Recorded over three days in June of 2004 to benefit Eric Clapton's Crossroads Center in Antigua (as do the sales of this set), the show is not surprisingly heavy on the rootsy blues and country that comprise Clapton's primary inspirations. But it also includes folk (James Taylor), gospel (Robert Randolph & the Family Band), fret-shredding rockers (Steve Vai who delivers a dazzling performance), jazz (John McLaughlin), and, most interestingly, Indian classical music (a stunning piece from Vishwa Mohan Bhatt).
Most compelling are the rare and sometimes unusual collaborations. Joe Walsh and Taylor clown around on "Steamroller Blues," and Booker T. & the M.G.'s back both Joe Walsh on a rollicking "Rocky Mountain Way" and Los Lobos' David Hidalgo tearing into a sizzling "The Neighborhood." Clapton and J.J. Cale share the stage as do Clapton and Carlos Santana, and a show-stopping blues summit with Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Clapton is a treat for all involved.
There are some shortcomings. The event isn't presented in chronological order--different stages, days, and backing bands are shuffled with Clapton's own set scattered throughout--ZZ Top's closing is a bit anticlimactic, and there are many omissions due to time constraints. But every act rises to the occasion, and this expertly recorded and shot DVD gives the viewer a front-row seat to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. --Hal Horowitz
- In-depth artist interviews
- Alternate angle feature
- Photo gallery
- Multi-channel video by MX Entertainment;
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Top Customer Reviews
i'm a huge fan of clapton of the late 60s and early 70s and i'm glad that it is in that spirit that he plays here. his jam/duel with carlos santana is itself worth the price of this dvd.
the sets of the blues greats - bb king, buddy guy, hubert sumlin are awe inspiring. multiple jams between them and clapton - great stuff!
eric johnson, robert cray, robert randolph and john mayer show that axe slinging is still alive with the younger generation. the first two put on an inspiring set.
the exotic piece is the hindustani piece played by vishna mohan bhatt from india with his self-invented/styled guitar which he plays with a slide.
the highlight of the show (imo) is the piece by john mclaughlin who is the guitarist's guitarist. such control and feel at such speed! unbelievable! i'm sure every guitarist out there was in a state of daze/shock after that 7 minutes of shredded melody!
james taylor is boring. and so is jj cale (though he is saved by clapton), larry carlton and steve vai. jimmy vaughn is not great - but i dig him for his spirit (one can only imagine what a show it would have been if his younger brother had been alive to play here - we miss you stevie)!
towards the end david hidalgo and joe walsh set the stage on fire and the concert is brought to an end by zz top (a mediocre set).
i hear that jeff beck and neil schon got edited out - a pity - as there is some stuff here in the dvd which could have easily substituted for those!
btw this review wouldnt be complete without a mention about the guitars used in the show : the fender stratocaster seems to reign supreme in this show - everybody from clapton to walsh to robert cray to jimmy vaughn to buddy guy is shown playing one. surprisingly very few gibson les pauls. john mclaughlin has a weird but solid looking guitar with only one pickup. hidalgo shows off a rare gibson firebird. likewise joe walsh, a brand new black rickenbacker. but imo the guitar of the show was the beautiful leaf shaped red gretsch with its trademark thumbnail inlays, sported by billy gibbons.
if you're a fan of the guitar, get this dvd!
Highlights: All blues songs-especially Hubert Sumlin. Plays as he did with Howlin Wolf-same style.
Buddy Guy is his best in years also. He is 70
B.B. is superb- He is 80
Robert Cray- "Time Make Two" is perhaps the best perfromance on the DVD.
Eric Johnson-Plays a great pop-style song with a Jimi Hendrix set up.
Booker T and the MGs with David Hildago and Joe Walsh is a highlight. Walsh acts as drugged out as ever, but his blues licks a la Albert King's "Drowing On Dry Land" are cool.
John McLaughlin is great. His tribute to Jazz drummer Elvin Jones who just died this year is moving and he uses just himself and two drummers; one western and one eastern (tabla) as accompaniment. Fantastic!
Eric Clapton's various collaborations are all superb. He plays well with Doyle Bramhall II, whose father played with Stevie Ray and others is great and Doyle plays Albert King style, left-handed and upside down! And plays a good chord backing, too!
This is well produced, good sound, good photography except all the crowd shots are young women enjoying the event!! And a great selection of tunes. Jeff Beck should have been included as should have Otis Rush, Mick Taylor and maybe Peter Green, but get this, it is great!!!!
With the benefit of his Crossroads centre in mind, EC and his tour manager organized this festival and got the help of the best guitar players around, including names like BB King, Robert Cray, Steve Vai, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Robert Lockwood Jr, Eric Johnson, Joe Walsh and many, many more.
I don't have to say that the music is great, and although the selection of songs may not be the most popular (no Layla, no Cliffs of Dover, no The Thrill is gone) it is indeed a very fine sample of the 3 nights of music.
The dvd's themselves (yes, this is a 2 disc edition) are of the top quality. The concert audio comes in 5.1 and Dolby Stereo, and Video is crisp and colorful, and presented in letterbox format, wich gives an elegant touch to it (Same you can see in One More Car dvd, from Clapton's 2001 tour) and also has a multiangle feature included.
Interviews are abound and very funny, and add to the whole intimate experience, since you can feel you are actually in the concert. Camera direction is wise and to the point.
Animated menus are the cherry on top, and visual design is very neat. Dvd comes in transparent keep case with display cardboard case.
In all, a must have for fans of the blues and rock guitar, and sales from the DVD benefit Crossroads centre for substance abuse, so what are you waiting for, help EC and enjoy his music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
However, I am pretty disappointed that these disks are sold "area 1" only and not (easily) readable in other...Read more
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