Eric Clapton's "Nothing but the Blues" is a special album

When Eric Clapton straps on his guitar, chances are something good will happen. When Eric Clapton plays the blues, the good turns into something special.

In 1994, Clapton was touring in support of his “From the Cradle” album. Filming and recording sessions were done over two November concerts at the Fillmore, in San Francisco. A year later, a documentary of the event was shown one time on PBS. That’s all we’ve heard and seen from these shows…until this weekend.

Twenty-seven years later, you can now hear the music from these legendary two concerts on Clapton’s new album, “Nothing but the Blues.” Backed by his regular band of Andy Fairweather-Low, Chris Stainton, and Andy Newmark, this is a spectacular album of, as the title says, nothing but the blues.

Over eighteen songs, Clapton pays homage to the bluesmen he idolized. Among the legends whose songs are covered include Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Freddie King and Howlin’ Wolf.

There are many highlights on this record, but if I’m picking one standout song, it’s “Smuggler’s Blues.” You can feel the angst in both his voice and his guitar.

Clapton’s guitar stands out throughout the album. His soaring solos remind you of his early days when his playing earned him the nickname, God.

I’ve been a fan of Eric Clapton’s music for more than five decades. After only two listenings, “Nothing but the Blues” ranks near the top of all his albums. If you’re a fan of the blues and guitar, check it out. It’s well worth your time.

Related Post: Eric Clapton turns seventy: Fifty years of great music

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