Saturday, July 4, 2009

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood at Madison Square Garden

Just bought the Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood at Madison Square Garden DVD.

It is unbelievable. Those 2 old dudes rock.

Always a fan of Clapton, from the days of Cream: "White Room" first memory from -- what -- '67? I don't know - I was 13, and I knew I was hearing some very new, strange and awesome music.

My God, this concert is amazing. The last Clapton dvd I bought was the "Concert for George" tribute to George Harrison. I thought it was the cat's pajamas. Tonight I watched the Clapton/Winwood dvd, then put on the Harrison tribute. Clapton seems so much more engaged in this concert - it's almost day/night. And I loooooves me some Eric. His tribute to George was heartfelt. He clearly directed the music; and, I imagine he had his talented hands full with all the egos involved: Jeff Lynne, the late Billy Preston, et al; not to mention Tom Petty and Paul McCartney who are strong-minded directors of their own bands.

Clapton seems so much looser and happier at the MSG concert. And he is so back to his blues roots. Listen to "After Midnight", just as fresh as the original 1970 studio release. If you've never heard "Tell the Truth", you owe it to yourself to listen to this version with Winwood's excellent keyboards -- it totally stands up to the original. Winwood's interpretation of "Georgia On My Mind" is comparable to Ray Charles' classic. And "Little Wing" is spot-on with Clapton and Winwood trading vocals -- with much better vocals and guitar than the Derek & The Dominos-era version. A down-and-dirty bluesy "Voodoo Chile" gives a different spin to Hendrix' song. Clapton's guitar is a nasty counterpoint to Windwood's heartfelt vocals, who then ups the ante with his soulful chops on the keyboard.

Clapton is in great voice throughout the concert. Steve Winwood's vocals are as strong as when he was a teenager, and his guitar solo on "Dear Mr. Fantasy " rivals Clapton.

Clapton's guitar feels like the early 70's again, only better. The man who always aspired to be as good as his hero Robert Johnson is there -- in spades.
Clapton's feeling it again.


  1. I always loved "Bellbottom Blues" and still know all the words.

  2. God I love these guys! I'll have to check out that CD.


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