Eric Clapton: Old Sock
The reggae shuck and roll of a very pleasant take on Taj Mahal’s “Further On Down The Road” opens Eric Clapton’s 21st solo album, Old Sock. The nearly samba-like “Angel” follows seeing the first use of Clapton’s clean electric with backing vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White (two women who kick ass throughout here) and J.J. Cale guesting on his own tune.
Yes, guests like Cale are in evidence, but the band Clapton has assembled for his 21st album are truly the best of the best: Steve Gadd (drums), Willie Weeks (bass), Chris Stainton (keys) and the aforementioned backing vocalists.
“Got Getta Over,” one of the two new Clapton tunes, chunks along at a good rockin’ speed and again a goodly amount of Slowhand’s decidedly not slow playing. I like this tune a lot, especially the jam at its tail end. And really, how can you loose with Chaka Khan joining in?
Clapton does his country bit on Hank Snow’s “Born To Lose,” playing a neat dobro lead. Signature and delectable Gadd brushes on snare and Stainton’s piano run under a string-heavy “Still Got The Blues.” Clapton’s acoustic lead in the beginning (much better than his standard electric at the end) and Steve Winwood’s Hammond B3 are about the only pieces to make this interesting though.
“Every Little Thing” (a tune Clapton co-wrote) really starts out great in the verses, but rolls into a too-poppy reggae chorus, which undermines the song’s power. But Eric’ daughter’s little-kid’s-cute-singing at the end is just unforgivable.
Old Sock is a mixed bag of mostly covers with some stand-outs and great playing as you’d expect.