As a teenager driving around by myself for one of the first times in my life, I vividly recall fiddling with my radio dial and somehow channeling the most unbelievably powerful, steely chords that I’d ever heard. When the song was over, the DJ told me that, although seeming to emanate from the depths of some unreachable netherworld, these entrancing notes and the haunting voice that accompanied them actually belonged to Eric Clapton, in the form of Cream and their hit “Sunshine of Your Love.” In the years since, I’ve devoured every offering from Clapton, my favorite recording artist, and my ears always perk up when I hear his trademark plucking. What a treat, then, to learn that Clapton will be on tour in 2011, which also happens to be the 40th anniversary of his rock anthem “Layla.” Here is what Eric Clapton has been up to lately.
Where Has Clapton Been Recently?
In the wake of the release and success of his studio album, “The Road to Escondido,” in 2006, Clapton has remained fairly well secluded from the public spotlight. His appearances have been pretty much limited to participation in retrospective celebrations that found him on stage with the likes of Steve Winwood (2008) and The Allman Brothers (2009) , as well as at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary shindig in New York (2009). Finally, in 2010, Clapton headed back into the recording studio and released “Clapton” in September. It is a mixture of new and repeat music and has gained some measure of critical and commercial success.
Clapton recorded and released “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” with Derek and the Dominos late in 1970, and the title song began storming the charts the following year. Many people consider this album to be Clapton’s greatest artistic achievement overall, and it certainly has achieved mythical status. To commemorate its 40 years, Clapton has released a four-CD set comprising a remastered version of the original and recordings from various live performances of the era.
With a new album on the store shelves, it’s not surprising to see Clapton head back out on tour, but it is welcomed news nonetheless. The fun kicks off in Dublin, Ireland, on May 9 and currently includes several dates throughout northern Europe during the spring. As always with Clapton, audiences can expect an unforgettable show filled with iconic licks and haunting melodies.
Eric Clapton has stood the test of time with music fans and critics alike. There is really no one like him on the contemporary music scene, and it’s great to see him back in the public eye. As always, Clapton brings lots of great music with him wherever he goes.