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J J Cale and Eric Clapton - The Road to Escondido - Reprise

Eric Clapton has been an unabashed J J Cale fan for some time now. For Clapton, the artist that he admires for his "work ethic and anonymity" has provided him with a couple of major hits, namely "Cocaine" from the 1977 album Slowhand and a raved-up version of "After Midnight." The results of this long-rumored collaboration album are extremely enjoyable.

The Road To Escondido features both men prominently, but the laid-back feel and breezy demeanor of this album is all Cale - not suprising, given that 11 of the 14 tracks were penned by him. J J's take on the blues is much different than Clapton's, but they mesh very nicely throughout. "Danger," "When The War Is Over," and the first single "Ride The River" are all quintessential J J Cale.

Clapton has always adapted to Cale's style seamlessly: "Lay Down Sally" - a tune written by Clapton and a huge hit from Slowhand - sounds like a dead on impression of Cale's writing style and playing, for instance. There is a deep admiration at play here that makes these stylings go beyond mimicry, and that's what makes Clapton's take on Cale's particular brand of music sound authentic and heartfelt. The Road To Escondido is perhaps the best one-off collaboration between two musicians in a year that's seen quite a few of them.

Written by Dan Reed

BUY THIS CD: The Road to Escondido

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