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Eric Clapton Enlists Jeff Beck, John Mayer, ZZ Top For Crossroads Fest
The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, John Mayer, B.B. King and Sheryl Crow will join Eric Clapton at his third Crossroads Guitar Festival, which will take place June 26 at Toyota Park in Chicago -- where Clapton also held the 2007 event.
The day-long festival will feature 26 axe-wielding acts in total, also including Robert Cray, Earl Klugh, Robert Randolph, Joe Bonamassa, Sonny Landreth, Keb' Mo', Albert Lee, Bert Jansch, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, Clapton Band member Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr., Hubert Sumlin, James Burton, Jimmie Vaughan, Joao Gilberto and Pino Daniele. Proceeds will once again benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, an addiction treatment and education facility founded by Clapton. Tickets are $100 and go on sale at 11 a.m. EST Feb. 20, at the box office and via Ticketmaster.
Clapton launched the Crossroads Festival fundraiser in 2004 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Both of the previous festivals have been documented on DVDs; the 2007 edition was also edited into a two-hour special for PBS' "Great Performances" series.
"It's an amazing event," Derek Trucks, who played the 2007 festival as a member of Clapton's band and with his own group, told Billboard.com. "To be in the midst of all that talent and all that great playing and music was just..unreal. It's like a master class in guitar up there."
Beck added that "it was as much fun to sit back and listen to everyone else play as it was to play myself. It really was a great day." And Gill noted that the he was happy to see country get to be part of the festival alongside blues and rock; "I think that really speaks to (Clapton's) appreciation for guitar playing and players in general. He's very open and generous."
It's not yet known who Clapton will play with that day. The 2007 festival was the catalyst for subsequent dates with his Blind Faith bandmate Winwood, while Clapton and Beck will be playing several shows together this year. Beck, Winwood, Mayer, Gill, Crow, Guy, Landreth, Bramhall, Trucks, Randolph, Cray, Sumlin, King, Mayer, Lee and Los Lobos are all returnees from the 2007 show.
Updates will appear at the festival web site, www.crossroadsguitarfestival.com.