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Although their partnership isn't one of the more ballyhooed ones in the rock realm, these two singer-guitarists have been collaborating fruitfully for more than three decades -- with Clapton acting as the public face of that collaboration via his enduring versions of such Cale compositions as "Cocaine" and "After Midnight." The Road to Escondido, their first full-length recording together -- and Clapton's first duets collection since he teamed with B.B. King on Riding with the King -- is a warm, inviting collection of songs that maximizes the strengths of both participants. Cale contributes the lion's share of the compositions, and his fingerprints are immediately recognizable on songs like the sultry "Danger," which positively envelops the listener in its humid, swampy ambience. There's a similarly burnished feel to "Don't Cry Sister," a classic blues shuffle that slinks along more stealthily than one might expect, until Clapton unspools one of his effortlessly virtuosic solos. Slowhand takes the lead -- vocally and spiritually -- on a number of the disc's tracks, most effectively on the gentle "Three Little Girls" and the woozy "Last Will and Testament," but he's not averse to sharing the spotlight, giving Cale some room to stretch out vocally on "Sporting Life Blues" and bringing John Mayer in to punch up the sinewy "Hard to Thrill." As depicted in these songs, The Road to Escondido isn't a superhighway -- it's the kind of two-lane path that makes a leisurely amble a simple pleasure that's easy to enjoy.
|Label:||Reprise / Wea|
Performance CreditsJ.J. Cale Primary Artist,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Eric Clapton Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Taj Mahal Harmonica
Albert Lee Guitar
Billy Preston Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Bruce Fowler Horn
Simon Climie Percussion
James Cruce Percussion,Drums
Nathan East Bass
Gary Gilmore Bass
Marty Grebb Horn
Jim Karstein Percussion,Drums
Abraham Laboriel Drums
Christine Lakeland Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Steve Madaio Horn
Pino Palladino Bass
Jerry Peterson Horn
Walt Richmond Piano,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
David Teegarden Percussion
Derek Trucks Guitar
Willie Weeks Bass
Dennis "Cannonball" Caplinger Fiddle
Doyle Bramhall Guitar
Steve Jordan Drums
John Mayer Guitar
Steven "Steven J." Jordan Drums
Dennis Caplinger Fiddle
Technical CreditsJ.J. Cale Composer
Brownie McGhee Composer
Eric Clapton Composer,Producer,Concept
Simon Climie Programming,Producer
Mike Kappus Management
Lee Dickson Guitar Techician
John Mayer Composer
Catherine Roylance Art Direction
Joel Evenden Pro-Tools
Nigel Carroll Personal Assistant
Alan Douglas Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An excellent idea to bring these two bluesy singer/songwriter/guitarists together. Clapton contributes only two songs, and they are easy to spot after the first listen or two. Cale's new songs are mostly good, but the rehash of "Call Me the Breeze" under the title "When This War is Over" is bland and boring. On the other hand, the new, upbeat version of "Don't Cry Sister" is a success. There are a few gems, such as "Head's in Georgia," "Hard to Thrill," and "Last Will and Testament," but I find myself skipping past some of the plainer tracks, such as "Dead End Road" and "Easy." A little less would have been more....
I like the way Clapton has adopted the style of J.J. I also like the very good mixture of songs - including some real blues - especially track 12. This is a perfect mixture of feel good stuff including some intensive guitar playing by Clapton.
Have to disagree on this one with the reviewers. Very middle of the road, predictably mellow and, well, not really that inspiring. Out of all the possible Cooder and Clapton alternative materials, this one ranks in the cellar. Enough said.
Outstanding mix of music style. It is a pleasure to hear Cale and Clapton together again. With background from so many other artists it makes it a must have for any collection.
Guitar work, singing, songwriting, style, its all here. Two legends of music, have made an album together for the first time, I was very excited when I heard these two were making this CD, and it has not dissapointed. Go get it!