Eric Clapton & Friends- "The Breeze - An Appreciation Of JJ Cale" Review
July 21, 2014
After more than 40 years in the industry, Eric Clapton is still going strong. One of the most highly regarded musicians ever, he returns with this 16 track collection, assisted by some hugely successful names.
Beginning with the catchy ‘Call Me The Breeze’ makes for a great opening, and with follow up track ‘Rock & Roll Friends’ demonstrating musicianship reminiscent of Status Quo and the unmistakable vocals of Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits assisting on ‘Someday’, the opening ten minutes or so of this collection are hard to not be impressed by.
It is then John Mayer’s turn to take charge and although ‘Lies’ is a far from terrible track, there is ultimately nothing remarkable about it, and such is also the case with ‘Sensitive Kind’.
Any upbeat moments that appear on the album are sadly intermittent, but they do appear, as demonstrated through ‘I Got The Same Old Blues’.
‘Songbird’ on this collection is a far less sombre piece than the track of the same name by Eva Cassidy, while the vocals of Willie Nelson remain as sharp and strong as they ever were. Meanwhile, in a refreshing mix up to the material, ‘I’ll Be There’ is a dance style, hugely catchy track – it is without question the stand out number of the album.
In closing with ‘Crying Eyes’, it is a nice change to see a woman, Christine Lakeland, sharing vocal duties. On top of this, the track demonstrates, better than any of its predecessors, just why Eric Clapton remains so successful – with a combination of simple musicianship, clear, if not slightly quiet vocals, and a bear you can’t put help tap your feet to, the album ends on a more than fitting note.