Album review: Eric Clapton, Old Sock

By Graham Reid

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Album cover for Old Sock. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Old Sock. Photo / Supplied

As at the start of his career - the Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith in six years - lately Clapton has engaged in short projects with B.B. King (Riding with the King) and J.J. Cale (Road to Escondido), doing his disappointingly patchy Robert Johnson tribute (Me and Mr Johnson) or has been a man taking it easy, albeit professionally and polished (Clapton of 2010).

In a singularly unappealing cover and an off-putting title, this one - as he closes in on 70 - has him looking back to songs remembered from childhood, as Paul McCartney did for Kisses on the Bottom. Here - alongside a decent original and an awful, saccharine thing with kids singing - he goes to the 30s for a gently orchestrated Folks Who Live on the Hill, a cheery duet on All of Me with McCartney, the Gershwins' Our Love is Here to Stay and Lead Belly's Goodnight Irene. With Willie Weeks, Steve Gadd, Greg Leisz, Jim Keltner, and so on, and guests Taj Mahal, Steve Winwood, Cale and Chaka Khan, this sounds excellent and his guitar playing is pointed, understated and allows space for Doyle Bramhall II from his touring band.

There's reggae here too so it's re an enjoyable, if rather unfocused, dolly mixture of different tastes.

Stars: 3.5/5
Verdict: Oldies, goodies, blues and borrowings

- elsewhere.co.nz / TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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