I STILL DO Bushbranch/Surfdog ✪✪✪✪ ✪
A new album from Clapton can arouse mixed feelings. Sometimes it’s like he’s doing what comes so naturally but without, it seems, a great deal of effort. Other times he’ll surprise us with the spirit that gave us All Your Love, Crossroads, Layla – and other assorted lovely songs. I Still Do is mostly the latter: it’s Clapton from the instant you hear his distorted bottleneck and moody vocal on Alabama Woman Blues. Can’t Let You Do It is one of those mid-tempo JJ Cale-style shuffles that EC does so well, its wah-wah slide and Stratty licks sitting perfectly in the mix. Eric’s Robert Johnson moment here is Stones In My Passway – more slide, plus great singing and fine support from a band that includes longtime cohorts Andy Fairweather-Low and Simon Climie. Eric swaggers into Skip James’s raunchy Cypress Grove with real style – and is ‘Angelo Mysterioso’ the same Ed Sheeran who guests with him onstage in Japan? If you like your EC on the raw side then this Glyn Johns production won’t disappoint. Old Slowhand, it seems, Still Does!