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Eric Clapton: I Still Do *

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Robert Johnson's 'Stones In My Passway' goes to church with handclaps, squeezebox, and wicked slide..."

Album Notes

Reuniting with producer Glyn Johns, the steady hand who guided Slowhand back in 1977, doesn't provide Eric Clapton with much of a jolt for his 23rd studio album, but it does provide the veteran guitarist with no small degree of nicely weathered warmth. Such mellowed good vibes are the calling card of I Still Do, which otherwise proceeds along the same path Clapton's records follow in the 21st century: he blends covers of well-worn blues standards with a couple of J.J. Cale tunes, a few old pop standards, a Bob Dylan chestnut, and original songs that draw upon aspects of all of these. "Spiral" and "Catch the Blues," the two EC originals that anchor the middle of the album, are handsomely crafted tunes that complement the rest of the record; they don't draw attention to themselves but rather show how hard "Cypress Grove" swings and how "Alabama Woman Blues" crawls, and reveal the lightness of "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" and "Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day." Although "I'll Be Seeing You" ends I Still Do on a bit of a wistful note, this album is neither melancholy nor some kind of summation. It is simply Clapton being Clapton, enjoying the company of his longtime band and songs he's loved, and here he's fortunate enough to be produced by Johns, whose expert touch gives this weight and color absent from the otherwise amiable Old Sock. That's enough to give I Still Do some resonance because Johns focuses not on the songs but the interplay: it's not a vibe record so much as it's an album about the interplay of old pros who still get a kick playing those same old changes years after they've become second nature. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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