Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival has become the guitar event since its inception in 1999. With a diverse cast of the greatest pickers in the world, the event is a fundraiser for Clapton’s drug rehabilitation facility on the island of Antigua. This one marked the event’s return after a six-year hiatus.
Available in three CDs, two LPs, two DVDs, and two Blu-rays, this collection of highlights from the 2019 festival features entertaining artistry and fret-burning excitement. Held at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, the two-day event has been edited to four hours. Superbly shot and edited, performers include Gary Clark, Jr., Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Marcus King, and Keb’ Mo’, Lianne La Havas, to name a few.
While there are pacing issues and the inclusion of overplayed chestnuts, the performances are powerful, especially “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Clapton and Peter Frampton along with the Merle-Haggard-penned, “Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down,” featuring Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas, and Vince Gill. Closing with ensemble performances of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went” was an inspired choice to cap this six-string event.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.