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 (opens in new tab), and more recently releasing a solo tune quite transparently tackling the same subject matter, This Has Gotta Stop (opens in new tab).
Neither track appears on The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions, which can be pre-ordered here (opens in new tab).
Eric Clapton – The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions
- Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
- Golden Ring
- Black Magic Woman
- Man of the World
- After Midnight
- Bell Bottom Blues
- Key to the Highway
- River of Tears
- Rock Me Baby
- Believe in Life
- Going Down Slow
- Tears in Heaven
- Long Distance Call
- Bad Boy
- Got My Mojo Working