Guitarist

The Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions

- Mercury Studios

A multi-format outing finds Clapton in acoustic mode

“This one’s for Peter…” Clapton announces as he launches into an acoustic version of Peter Green’s Black Magic Woman on this 17-track lockdown album. It was recorded at Cowdray House, West Sussex last year, after EC’s Albert Hall concerts were cancelled due to the pandemic. Clapton may have courted controvers­y recently owing to his stance on vaccinatio­ns, but here he’s back doing what he does best in the company of Steve Gadd (drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards) and Nathan East (bass and vocals).

In essence, the album could be seen as a sort of Unplugged II as most of the tracks are acoustic, save for three. Many of the songs will be familiar to fans – Bell Bottom Blues, Key To The Highway, Tears In Heaven and Layla to name a few – but here they’re given a new lease on life as intimate, laidback acoustic outings. As such, River Of Tears assumes a new poignancy, while the more blues-orientated tracks such as Got My Mojo Working and Long Distance Call find Eric getting his groove on.

While it may be nothing particular­ly new, the musical excellence that glows in every track makes it a very worthwhile listening and viewing experience (there’s video footage on Blu-ray and DVD, too). If you’re curious about the title, it came about because Eric’s wife, Melia, was the album’s only spectator, apart from the film and sound crew.

Standout track: River Of Tears

For fans of: The Band, Derek And The Dominos, Delaney & Bonnie

 ?? ?? EC swapped the Albert Hall for an intimate performanc­e at Cowdray House in West Sussex
EC swapped the Albert Hall for an intimate performanc­e at Cowdray House in West Sussex
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