[Slowhand] EC Sessions

DeltaNick deltanick at comcast.net
Sun Aug 22 11:09:41 EDT 2004

>> Sorry folks, but the Digest has become something of a bore to me in
recent days. I've scanned through several of them recently without seeing
the name "Eric Clapton" mentioned at all ... Apart from Grant's interesting
comment about EC's session work (and Richard's lone reply), I've learnt
nothing about Clapton or his music in
several posts. And that disappoints me the most. <<


Since EC ended his tour a few Mondays back, there really hasn't been
anything new to discuss, except for the Bruce Hornsby CD, "Halycon Days"
(here's my mini-review: it starts off strong, gets a bit weaker as it goes
on; EC is on tracks 1, 2, & 5, but not a bad album at all, surprised me,
since I was expecting a ho-hum recording).

Grant has reignited an old thread on EC sessions work that began on 4 May
1964, when then-Yardbird EC played guitar on an Otis Spann album, "The Blues
Of Otis Spann," with Muddy Waters, Spann's half-brother or cousin, taking
part. A few days later, Clapton wrote in a letter to then-girlfriend Janella
Gibbs that Memphis Slim showed up after the recording session and they had a
fantastic jam session.

Next were the Immediate Records sessions, and then-Bluesbreaker Clapton
recorded, in June 1965, seven instrumentals with Jimmy Page that were
supposed to remain private, but were released in 1968 and 1969 on several
compilation albums. It's not clear whether these were recorded at a
recording studio or Page's parents' home. Nevertheless, some of the Rolling
Stones (Jagger and Wyman) and their entourage (Ian Stewart and Chris
Winters) contributed later overdubs on some of these tracks.

Then followed the Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse recordings, in either
February or March 1966, while Clapton was still a Bluesbreaker. There were
four tracks recorded for Elektra Records, but only three released. The
missing track was, in the words of Clapton, "a slow blues."

And in September 1967, while a member of Cream, Clapton overdubbed the
guitar part on an Aretha Franklin track, “Good To Me As I Am To You," at
Atlantic Studios, New York.

In 1968 and 1969, wile still in Cream and Blind Faith and between bands,
Clapton began doing session work in abundance for others. Some of us will
remember his guitar playing on the Martha Velez album, "Fiends & Angels,"
and the majestic guitar on Billy Preston's "That's The Way God Planned It."

To list his further sessions requires a book, but I think I've reviewed EC's
initial recording work for others above. With release of Hornsby's album,
EC's record of hundreds of such sessions continues to this day.


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