[Slowhand] Crossroads Guitar Festival

Steve Proctor drpr at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 10 10:10:01 EST 2007

It seems likely that there will be a second coming of the Crossroads Guitar Festival. It is also likely that someone from Camp EC monitors these discussions. So, I would like to make a few suggestions to make the second Crossroads Guitar Festival even better than the first. Maybe this will spawn some discussion about what we liked and disliked about the Festival.

First, you simply have to feature some female guitar players. I know - Bonnie Raitt was in Atlanta and Rory Block was in Kentucky during the first Festival. But Guitar Player magazine has slammed the Festival on three different occasions over this point. According to Pollstar, either artist should be available in late July. There are many other capable female guitar players, but may I suggest Rodrigo y Gabriela? Gabriela alternates between Latin/flamenco stylings and playing her acoustic guitar like a drum.

Second, there were simply too many wonderful moments that were not on the DVD. I understand licensing concerns, but to interrupt songs by Honeyboy Edwards and Robert Lockwood Junior seems criminal. How can a DVD truly represent a Guitar Festival yet omit Jeff Beck onstage with Eric Clapton? Neil Schoen's opened the Cotton Bowl concert with thirty minutes of Hendrix songs. Stunning, yet only a few seconds were featured in the montage. Lawrence Juber played an entire version of the electric "Layla" on an acoustic guitar. He even included the little bird sound at the end! I have never seen so many people remain silent for so long. James Burton, Doyle Dykes, Marty Stuart and Jed Williams' rockabilly sendoff for Ronald Regan, who died the previous evening, was quite moving.

Third, WHY was the first song on the DVD "Cocaine???" The cause was a drug rehab center. I realize the song discourages cocaine use, but I don't think casual fans see it that way. Even Clapton has observed that the song is ambiguous. Clapton could have referenced the Crossroads Centre by performing "Crossroads" and "Let It Grow." ("Crossroads" was supposed to be performed by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and maybe Z.Z. Topp, but it looked like we were about to be hit by a Texas twister.)

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