In Deep: Digging Into the Star-Studded 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival Jam
The following content is related to the July 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival, which has now occurred four times between 2004 and 2013, is a benefit concert held to raise funds for Clapton’s Crossroads Drug Treatment Center in Antigua. The concerts are always a showcase for a stable of the world’s foremost guitarists, handpicked by Clapton himself. This year’s event featured the talents of Albert Lee, Allan Holdsworth, the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Jimmie Vaughan, John Scofield and many, many others.
At each festival, Clapton leads a big jam on a classic blues standard. In 2004, the jam tunes were “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Rock Me Baby,” and they featured Eric alongside B.B., Jimmie, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy and the late great Hubert Sumlin. The same tunes were revisited in 2007, and for 2010’s concert, the B.B. King classic “The Thrill Is Gone” was chosen for the jam finale.
At the 2013 shows, Eric, B.B., Jimmie and Robert cooked up a smoldering blues jam on Memphis Slim’s “Everyday I Have the Blues,” performed in a moderate, swinging groove, a few notches up from the 1950 Number Three hit version cut by Lowell Fulson, but at a more relaxed tempo than B.B.’s well-known, hard-driving Live at the Regal reading of the tune. In this edition of In Deep, we’ll examine the soloing style of each of these blues greats as applied to an “Everyday I Have the Blues”-type of groove and progression.