Clapton Gets A Lift From Winwood, Mayer
For "Back Home," his first album of new original material since 2001's "Reptile," Eric Clapton tapped the talents of longtime collaborator Simon Climie, as well as such guests as Steve Winwood, John MFor "Back Home," his first album of new original material since 2001's "Reptile," Eric Clapton tapped the talents of longtime collaborator Simon Climie, as well as such guests as Steve Winwood, John Mayer, Stephen Marley and Robert Randolph. Due Aug. 30 via Reprise/Duck Records, the disc boast 12 tracks that were recorded at the same time as the Robert Johnson covers that made up last year's "Me & Mr. Johnson."
"I wanted to make a studio album without quite knowing what it was going to be," Clapton says. "We kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that it was going to take a long time, but when we got stuck or if it wasn't moving fast enough we'd stop and do a Robert Johnson song. That would clear the air and we'd go back and carry on for the new album. As a result, we ended up with a complete Robert Johnson album first."
"Me & Mr. Johnson" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart and No. 6 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 612,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Reptile" debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 560,000.
Clapton solely wrote only the new album's title track, while he and Climie co-authored five of the songs on "Back Home," including first single "Revolution."
Also included are versions of George Harrison's "Love Comes to Everyone," the Spinners' "Love Don't Love Nobody" and a rendition of the Stevie Wonder/Syreeta Wright song "I'm Going Left," as well as two songs co-written by guitarist Doyle Bramhall II and one by Vince Gill ("One Day").
In addition to keyboardist Climie, who co-produced the album with Clapton, the artist tapped such familiar players drummer Steve Gadd, bassists Nathan East and Pino Palladino, guitarists Bramhall and Andy Fairweather Low and keyboardists Billy Preston.
A contemporary of Clapton's in the late-1960s U.K. music scene and bandmate in the short-lived "supergroup" Blind Faith, Winwood contributes synthesizer to the album. Also heard are guitarist Mayer, Randolph on dobro, Chris Stainton (Spooky Tooth) playing Fender Rhodes, percussion from Marley and Abe Laboriel Jr. (Fiction Plane, Paul McCartney) and keyboardist Toby Baker (B.B. King, McDonald).
"One of the earliest statements I made about myself was back in the late '80s, with 'Journeyman,'" Clapton explains. "This album completes that cycle in terms of talking about my whole journey as an itinerant musician and where I find myself now, starting a new family. That's why I chose the title. It's about coming home and staying home. Even though," he adds, "I'll be out on the road again next year, playing this music."
Clapton, who last performed June 11 at a Surrey, England, concert to benefit HASTE (Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavour), at deadline has no confirmed tour dates. In May, he participated in a string of Cream reunion shows at London's Royal Albert Hall with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.
Here is the "Back Home" track list:
"Say What You Will"
"I'm Going Left"
"Love Don't Love Nobody"
"Lost and Found"
"Love Comes to Everyone"
"One Track Mind"
"Run Home to Me"