Review: “Live From Madison Square Garden,” Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood


Two rock legends in a sold-out series of shows from New York City?  If that sounds even remotely interesting, then Live From Madison Square Garden is for you.  There’s something comforting about the presence of Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood on the concert trail – maybe it’s just that the old guys can get up there and give the young folks a good run too.

Because this is kinda a reunion of the two superstars from the short-lived 1960s supergroup Blind Faith, you get a handful of those numbers (“Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Had To Cry Today,” etc.) as well as some choice numbers from Winwood’s Traffic days (“Pearly Queen,” “Dear Mr. Fantasy”) and some nice Clapton solo choices (“After Midnight,” “Cocaine”). 

This stuff rocks – still – and Clapton plays like a man possessed.  His blues showcases, including “Double Trouble” and the Robert Johnson acoustic chestnut “Rambling On My Mind” both feature astonishing guitar work and are the best cuts here.  This is one of the best sounding live albums I’ve heard in a while: vocals and guitars (Winwood’s no slouch, either) are crisply recorded and right up front, and it’s all served up on a bed of tasty Hammond organ from Winwood.  If we have to relive the 1960s, this is certainly the way to do it.  (This concert is also available on DVD, with some extra tunes.)

MP3: “Double Trouble”

Eric Clapton official website

Steve Winwood official website

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