Album: Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live from Madison Square Garden (Reprise)

Andy Gill
Sunday 22 September 2013 04:59

The packaging suggests some long-lost artefact from the hippie era, which, in a way, is exactly what Live From Madison Square Garden represents, with its emphasis on the primacy of instrumental virtuosity and the "super-session" formula.

Specifically, it recalls the ill-fated Blind Faith project that first saw Clapton and Winwood join forces: four tracks from the band's sole album are featurede, along with another, "Sleeping In The Ground", performed at their 1969 debut concert in Hyde Park; sadly, only "Can't Find My Way Home" seems to have aged with any notable dignity. But what's most striking about this two-CD set is that, although Winwood's Traffic years are well represented, Clapton's oeuvre is more modestly covered – he has only two composers' credits, compared with three for JJ Cale, and a further three tracks more associated with Jimi Hendrix – a burly "Them Changes", tender "Little Wing", and a 16-minute "Voodoo Chile" that allows Winwood to reprise his work on the original. But Clapton still provides many of the album's most enjoyable moments, not least a stinging version of Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" and a hearty take of Robert Johnson's "Rambling On My Mind".

Download this: "Glad", "Double Trouble", "After Midnight"

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