With 22 solo albums in the bag already, along with his stellar contributions to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and numerous other projects, you'd think that the well could be running dry for Eric Clapton. On the strength of this new release that's definitely not the case.
I Still Do is mostly a laidback affair, with more than a tilt at Clapton's late guitar buddy JJ Cale.
His guitar playing throughout this record is sublime, as is his choice of material and band mates. Alongside Clapton session regulars like guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low, keyboardist Chris Stainton and drummer Henry Spinetti, you can add in organist Paul Carrack, and especially Dirk Powell whose accordion and mandolin licks give some songs a New Orleans feel.
Alongside Eric Clapton's own composition Spiral, there's a who's who of songwriters, like blues pianist Leroy Carr with Alabama Woman Blues, Skip James' Cypress Grove, a couple of JJ Cale numbers, Bob Dylan's I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine off the John Wesley Harding album, plus of course the essential Robert Johnson track, Stones in My Passway.
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Clapton sounds relaxed and focused and while it's generally a laidback album, each song offers a mood change or a different approach on his guitar. Not bad for a 71-year-old with nothing left to prove.
Rating: 4/5 stars.