Eric Clapton ‘Old Sock’ and 50th Anniversary Concert Review

Posted 28 Mar 2013 in Albums of 2013, Albums of the 10s

oldsock 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#850 in the Series) is Eric Clapton, Old Sock, but first we look at his 50th Anniversary Tour concert stop in Oklahoma City.

It is hard for me to put into words the excitement I had going to see Eric Clapton in concert. This is the man who inspired me to pick up a guitar and learn to play.  At the same time, his playing can make me want to quit the guitar as there is no way I can imagine being able to sound that good. Whenever I feel like I can’t find any enjoyable music, I turn to Eric. The week before the show I made sure to have a steady diet of The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Blues Breakers, Cream, Derek & the Dominoes, and plenty of solo work. I also only had a week to pour over the new album Old Sock which I’ll cover in a little bit.

Eric Clapton is unequivocally my favorite guitar player of all time. I know some people would argue that there should be some others ahead of him on the list.  After listening to Cream as a teenager, there could be no one else on the top for me. The tone, style, and personality are a perfect match for my ears. Part of what I like about hearing Clapton live is he can play a song you have heard a hundred times and make it sound fresh. I guess you would have to be able to do that if you’ve been playing the same song for over 40 years.

The show, as expected, was amazing. Opening with the appropriate “Hello Old Friend,” the stage was covered with band members. The musicians for the 50th Anniversary Tour include Doyle Bramhall II on guitar, Steve Jordan on drums, Chris Stainton on piano and keyboards, Willie Weeks on bass, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar, Michelle John & Sharon White as backup singers, as well as “The Man with the Golden Voice” Paul Carrack on organ, keyboards, and guest lead vocals. In typical Clapton style, every band member got to spend a little time in the spotlight with plenty of solos being shared by everyone. The core of the band was also the musicians on Old Sock.

The show started with some standingericclapton2013 acoustic numbers, followed by electric classics, some sit down more stripped acoustic songs, and then finished with a big helping of electric blues covers. There were no fancy pyrotechnics or gimmicky effects. The big screens usually just showed whoever was singing or fingers moving in an unrelentless fury across the guitar, which for me is all I needed. I loved talking to people after the show because I’ve never met someone who was disappointed in a Clapton show. The usual response is “When can we go to the next one?”

I had heard about Paul Carrack being part of the band and I was really excited to see him as well.  I had never heard of Paul before but I had heard his music, I just didn’t realize who it was singing.  I really wanted to hear the Squeeze song “Tempted” which had been played during the first few stops on the tour. But alas, no Squeeze songs were played. What was played instead was the Ace song “How Long (Has This Been Going On)” a fitting second choice. The highlight for me was hearing “Got to Get Better in a Little While” which had a little more funk to it than the Derek & the Dominos version. It included some mind-blowing finger work by Slowhand that was just phenomenal! The intro to the sit down acoustic song “Driftin’” created some gasps that could be heard while he danced up and down the fret board. The show closed with an encore of fan favorite “Sunshine of Your Love” and Carrack sang the Joe Cocker song “High Time We Went.”

I had figured that part of the reason for this tour was to promote Clapton’s new album Old Sock. The only song performed from the new album was “Gotta Get Over.” This is the most energetic song of the album and has a familiarity like it could have come from the Slowhand album. The overall view of the album has been mixed since its release. The complaints that I have seen aren’t that it is lacking musically but that it was not in line with expectations, mainly that there wasn’t the energy of some of his previous work. The album is very light and mellow. The closest thing I can think of is The Road to Escondido collaboration album with JJ Cale. Old Sock is the kind of music you would want to play while relaxing at a barbeque.

eric-clapton2-620x400What has become an expectation of a new Clapton album is there should be some collaboration with some other popular musicians he has met throughout his career. This album does not disappoint with the guests. We have Taj Mahal, Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, JJ Cale (another favorite of mine), and Chaka Khan.  The great thing about all the guests is that the song is tailored specifically for their style. These songs could very well be a guest appearance by Clapton on one of their albums.

This album is a collection of covers with two original songs. What I really like is that this is a creation of what Clapton likes. It isn’t an explosion that leaves you wondering how he did that. It is some really good music. He even has his daughters sing on “Every Little Thing” which creates quite a touching moment once you realize who is singing. I continue to learn from Eric Clapton every time I listen to him. For this album it was that you don’t always have to be on a mission to impress everyone. Sometimes making great music with friends is more important than showing off. This is a message that transcends music – if you always try to impress people, you may just forget to relax and enjoy life.

– Jay Kretchmar, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USAPlease visit and LIKE our facebook page

Track listing

  1. “Further on Down the Road” (Featuring Taj Mahal)
  2. “Angel” (Featuring JJ Cale)
  3. “The Folks Who Live On the Hill”
  4. “Gotta Get Over” (Featuring Chaka Khan)
  5. “Till Your Well Runs Dry”
  6. “All of Me” (Featuring Paul McCartney)
  7. “Born to Lose”
  8. “Still Got the Blues” (Featuring Steve Winwood)
  9. “Goodnight Irene”
  10. “Your One and Only Man”
  11. “Every Little Thing”
  12. “Our Love Is Here to Stay”

Personnel

  • Eric Clapton – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, dobro, mandolin
  • Doyle Bramhall II – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
  • Willie Weeks – bass guitar, upright bass
  • Steve Gadd – drums
  • Walt Richmond – upright piano, keyboards
  • Greg Leisz – pedal steel, mandolin
  • Chris Stainton – clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3 organ
  • Taj Mahal – harmonica, banjo
  • Jim Keltner – drums
  • Steve Winwood – Hammond B3 organ
  • JJ Cale – guitar, vocals on “Angel”
  • Paul McCartney – upright bass, vocals
  • Abe Laboriel Jr – drums
  • Tim Carmon – Hammond B3 organ, chord organ
  • Henry Spinetti – drums
  • Justin Stanley – clavinet, mellotron, drums
  • Matt Chamberlain – drums
  • Matt Rollings – keyboards
  • Simon Climie – percussion, piano
  • Frank Marocco – accordion
  • Gabe Witcher – fiddle
  • Stephen “Doc” Kupka – baritone saxophone
  • Joseph Sublett – tenor saxophone
  • Nicholas Lane – trombone
  • Sal Cracchiolo – trumpet
  • Sharon White – backing vocals
  • Michelle John – backing vocals
  • Chaka Khan – guest vocals on “Gotta Get Over”
  • Julie Clapton – guest vocals
  • Ella Clapton – guest vocals
  • Sophie Clapton – guest vocals
  • Nikka Costa – guest vocals
  • Wendy Moten – guest vocals
  • Lisa Vaughan – guest vocals
  • Nick Ingman – string arrangements
Here’s an interview with EC regarding Old Sock

Listen to “Gotta Get Over “

Live “Hello Old Friend”

Posted by Larry Carta


Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 6 plus 4?