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Eric Clapton Premieres New Song, "Can't Let You Do It"

(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

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."

I Still Do is available for preorder on iTunes (opens in new tab); two songs—"Can't Let You Do It" and Clapton's cover of Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway"—are available for purchase right now (opens in new tab).

For the rest of my exclusive interview with Clapton, check out the upcoming July 2016 issue of Guitar World.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.