Eric Clapton has premiered "Can't Let You Do It," a JJ Cale-penned track from his new album, I Still Do. The album, which reunites Clapton with producer Glyn Johns, will be released May 20.
The rollicking track, which typifies Cale's breezy approach to songwriting, features plenty of wah-slathered guitar—and captures the spirit of Clapton's late-Seventies, Glyn Johns-produced albums.
"It's an interesting story. When I went to [Cale's] funeral [in 2013], I met with Christine, his wife, and we talked about what was left, in terms of songs," Clapton told Guitar World.
"I was very curious to know if there was a legacy. She said, 'Oh, there's some stuff. I'll make you some CDs.' She gave me two CDs a couple of days later with about 20 songs on each, so I had those locked up in a safe [laughs]. They’re so precious to me. They're unreleased JJ demos, and some of them are really, really out there; others are the kind of thing you'd expect from JJ.
Among the album's two new "legacy" Cale tracks are the bluesy "Somebody's Knocking" and "Can't Let You Do It."
"['Can't Let You Do It'] was another one of these unreleased songs from the CDs his wife gave me. His version of that song is undoable. The other one, 'Somebody’s Knockin',' I think we actually improved on it. I hope Christine forgives me, but I think we kind of did it, in a way, better. But as for 'Can't Let You Do It,' his version is undoable. It's like trying to do 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' or any James Brown song—and thinking you can improve it. There are certain people that have it down where it cannot be; you cannot impersonate it, you cannot improve on it."
For the rest of my exclusive interview with Clapton, check out the upcoming July 2016 issue of Guitar World.