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Case Number 12604: Small Claims Court

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Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007

Crossroads Concerts // 2007 // 240 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // December 15th, 2007

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge Tom Becker has no axe to grind with this set.

The Charge

"The Crossroads Festival is the realization of a dream for me."
—Eric Clapton

The Case

In 1998, guitar god Eric Clapton founded Crossroads Centre, a rehab facility in Antigua. Clapton's own history of addiction—and recovery—is well noted and has been dissected in his recently published autobiography, "Clapton."

Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007, a day-long event that took place at Toyota Park, near Chicago, on July 28, is the second such fundraiser that Clapton has organized for the facility. The first Guitar Festival took place over a week end in 2004.

This disc offers four hours of the 11-hour concert spread out over two discs. We get an eclectic group of artists giving us one good-to-great set after another:

Disc 1
• "Uberesso"
Sonny Landreth
• "Hell At Home"
• Sonny Landreth with Eric Clapton
• "Maharina
John McLaughlin"
• "Rosie"
Doyle Bramhall II
• "Outside Woman Blues"
Doyle Bramhall II
• "Little by Little"
Susan Tedeschi with The Derek Trucks Band
• "Anyday"
The Derek Trucks Band
• "Highway 61 Revisited"
Johnny Winter with The Derek Trucks Band
• "Nobody Soul"
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
• "Poor Johnny"
The Robert Cray Band
• "Dirty Work at the Crossroads"
Jimmie Vaughan with The Robert Cray Band
• "Sitting on Top of the World"
Hubert Sumlin with The Robert Cray Band & Jimmie Vaughan
• "Paying the Cost to Be The Boss"
B.B. King with The Robert Cray Band with Jimmie Vaughan & Hubert Sumlin
• "Rock Me Baby"
B.B. King with The Robert Cray Band with Jimmie Vaughan & Hubert Sumlin
• "Sweet Thing"
Vince Gill
• "Country Boy"
Albert Lee with Vince Gill
• "If It Makes You Happy"
Sheryl Crow with Vince Gill & Albert Lee
• "Tulsa Time"
Sheryl Crow with Eric Clapton, Vince Gill & Albert Lee
• "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
Willie Nelson with Vince Gill & Albert Lee
• "On the Road Again"
Willie Nelson with Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill & Albert Lee

Disc 2
• "Belief"
John Mayer
• "Gravity"
John Mayer
• "Don't Worry Baby"
Los Lobos
• "Mas y Mas"
Los Lobos
• "Cause We've Ended as Lovers"
Jeff Beck
• "Big Block"
Jeff Beck
• "Tell the Truth"
Eric Clapton
• "Isn't It a Pity"
Eric Clapton
• "Little Queen of Spades"
Eric Clapton
• "Who Do You Love?"
Robbie Robertson with Eric Clapton
• "Presence of the Lord"
Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
• "Can't Find My Way Home"
Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
• "Had To Cry Today"
Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton
• "Dear Mr. Fantasy"
Steve Winwood
• "Crossroads"
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood
• "Mary Had A Little Lamb"
Buddy Guy
• "Damn Right I've Got the Blues"
Buddy Guy
• "Sweet Home Chicago"
Buddy Guy with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, John Mayer, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan, and Johnny Winter

Clapton has stated that he wants these Guitar Festivals to be like a bunch of friends getting together for an old-fashioned jam session, and that's pretty much what it is. "Casual" is the idea here, and it's funny to see how "suburban dad" many of our music idols look; this makes sense given not only their ages (I'm guessing the median here is around 60), but the crowd and the context. These are sober people for a sober cause. For once it really looks like the people onstage are having as much fun as the audience.

There are many highlights. It's worth the price of the disc to just to see B.B. King, hale and powerful at 81, doing two numbers with the Robert Cray Band. Buddy Guy, a comparative youngster at 71, rips the lid off the place with an energy people half his age can only envy. There's Johnny Winter, looking a bit fragile and sounding anything but, with his rendition of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited," and Jeff Beck, awesome, with Tal Wilkenfeld on bass. Clapton and Robbie Robertson tear into "Who Do You Love?" and Clapton's set with Steve Winwood—Clapton joked he'd been waiting 25 years to play with Winwood—is masterful. The big closing number gives us Guy, Clapton, Cray, Winter, John Mayer, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmie Vaughn jamming on "Sweet Home Chicago," with Mayer looking suitably impressed by the company.

Bill Murray does introductions, often throwing on a wig and some kind of referencing outfit, such as dressing like Clapton to introduce Clapton's set. We also get sound bites from the performers on their love of the music, the first time they picked up a guitar, and their respect for the other musicians.

The concert was filmed in HD, and the picture looks great. The audio is just outstanding, with a choice of DTS 5.1 surround or PCM 2.0 stereo. As an extra we get seven minutes of riffs by Tab Benoit, Orianthi, Todd Wolfe, Skunk Baxter, Harvey Mandel, and Jedd Hughes playing on a smaller stage at the venue.

I'm sure there was a lot of great stuff left out, which is always the case when paring down a performance for a DVD. What's here is terrific, a must for fans, and worth a look for those with even a casual interest in the music.

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 92

Perp Profile

Studio: Crossroads Concerts
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
• PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
• French
• German
• Italian
• Portuguese
• Spanish
Running Time: 240 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Concerts and Musicals
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Segments from Crossroads Village Stage

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