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Eric Clapton: Slowhand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Album Notes

Eric Clapton booked a series of shows at his beloved venue the Royal Albert Hall in May of 2015, choosing to document this stint via a concert film and an accompanying album, both called Slowhand at 70: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. This is not the first live album of Clapton's to be recorded at the Royal Albert Hall -- 1991's 24 Nights documented a near month-long residency at the London hall -- and, generally, this performance does have a familiar feel, thanks in part to the set and in part to Clapton playing with a band who has been with him for a long time. There are a few surprises -- Paul Carrack takes lead on "You Are So Beautiful," played in tribute to then-recently departed Joe Cocker; Andy Fairweather-Low sings the closer, "High Time We Went" -- but this is a lived-in, almost stately affair, relying heavily on blues and Slowhand staples, all taken at a dignified midtempo. Perhaps appropriately, Clapton's performance isn't fiery, but he does dig into these grooves and seems to enjoy being with his old mates, and playing his old tunes in his old haunt. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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