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Eric Clapton unplugs again (mostly) on new album, The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions

Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Mercury Studios)

Earlier this year, Eric Clapton was forced to cancel two planned shows at London's Royal Albert Hall due to the continued impact of COVID-19. 

Still wanting to put something together for his fans, Clapton instead got together with his band – bassist and backing vocalist Nathan East, drummer Steve Gadd and keyboardist Chris Stainton – at Cowdray House in West Sussex, England for what was initially envisioned as a sequel of sorts to his blockbuster MTV Unplugged album from 1992. 

The resulting, newly announced live album, The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions, does indeed share some DNA with Unplugged, with versions of Clapton classics like Tears in Heaven, Layla and Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out making the cut.

Lady in the Balcony is far from a straight re-tread though, mixing it up with – among other things – covers of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac classics Black Magic Woman and Man of the World, plus versions of blues standards like Rock Me Baby, and somewhat obscure originals, like Bad Boy. Clapton also plugs in and plays electric guitar on three of the record's 17 tracks.

Set for a November 12 release via Mercury Studios, the album was produced by Russ Titelman, and will be released digitally and in a variety of physical formats as a live album, while its accompanying film – which boasts the same track list – will be released at the same time on DVD and Blu-ray.

Though the album partially bears the name Lockdown Sessions, Slowhand has spent quite a bit of the last year expressing in no uncertain terms his strident opposition to public health measures related to COVID-19, teaming up with Van Morrison for the anti-lockdown anthem Stand and Deliver, and more recently releasing a solo tune quite transparently tackling the same subject matter, This Has Gotta Stop

Neither track appears on The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions, which can be pre-ordered here.

The cover of Eric Clapton's The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions

(Image credit: Mercury Studios)

Eric Clapton – The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions

  1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
  2. Golden Ring 
  3. Black Magic Woman  
  4. Man of the World 
  5. Kerry
  6. After Midnight 
  7. Bell Bottom Blues  
  8. Key to the Highway 
  9. River of Tears 
  10. Rock Me Baby
  11. Believe in Life
  12. Going Down Slow 
  13. Layla            
  14. Tears in Heaven 
  15. Long Distance Call 
  16. Bad Boy 
  17. Got My Mojo Working
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.