Eric Clapton

Live in San Diego with Special Guest J.J. Cale

With Eric Clapton’s 2014 announcement that he would no longer tour, his tribute album to J.J. Cale the same year, and subsequent revelation that he’d been suffering from peripheral neuropathy, the double-CD release of this 2007 concert recording makes total sense.

Cale, Clapton’s longtime inspiration who died in 2013, made a rare appearance with E.C., and, after opening the show, Robert Cray joined Clapton for the encore. Opening with “Tell The Truth” from his 1970 Derek and the Dominos album, the guitar icon revisits songs from the following 34 years, including “Little Queen Of Spades” from Me And Mr. Johnson. With Doyle Bramhall II and slide ace Derek Trucks, this promises to be a six-string extravaganza – and it delivers.

As has often been the case, Clapton takes a couple of songs to warm up and, whether unconscious or purposeful, then plants his feet and delivers a solo that puts to rest any doubts that he’s relinquished his Guitar Hero status – this time with “Got To Get Better In A Little While.”

The five songs with Cale are a rare treat, as is “Crossroads” with a great Cray vocal, following an eight-minute rendition of “Layla.” A Clapton fan’s dream concert.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.