[Slowhand] Ramblings from a roadtrip

Susan Marchman susbastille at msn.com
Wed Mar 7 17:07:18 EST 2007

Just got back from an EC roadtrip, Dallas to San Antonio to Oklahoma City, and I tell ya there is no better music than Road to Escondido for those lonesome, back country roads : )

Solid shows all with many magic moments from EC, who seemed just a bit under the weather and was handed a cough drop in Dallas, and seemed to still be sucking on one at a later date. You could just barely detect a little something different in his voice, though to me, it brought out a beautiful subtlety that let him really sing it rather than so much "shouting/singing" if you know what I mean; this was particularly true in Dallas, though it's possible it was all a function of my seat or venue acoustics or even my perception that night, who knows? EC's "hoo, hoo, hoo's" on Outside Woman Blues sounded a little strained and like it was effort to get the breath, but really I doubt most in the audience could even tell.

It's truly amazing how the band has evolved since the shows early tour in the UK and the middle and late shows of the first leg in the US. What a dream to hear all the Dominos songs added since the first leg--Little Wing leaves me speechless, Tell the Truth is a great opener, electric Key to the Highway was a nice change from the earlier acoustic version I think I got somewhere along the way 1st leg. The only song change between these 3 shows was when Anyday from Dallas was replaced with Why Does Love Got to Be so Sad. The San Antonio version was extremely faithful to the recording, while the OKC version seemed to veer off into a somewhat extended beautiful little jam at the end. (Oh, and Driftin' Blues was a fantastic addition to the acoustic set.)

EC played mostly a slate or pewter-colored strat, and he brought out a white strat for a couple numbers at least two of the shows (one night I think he got it and quickly handed it back.) Possibly the white strat Melia and his kids gave him for Christmas and featured on his blog?

I always zero in on EC's beginning and ending solos on Little Queen since they were some of my favorite moments at the RAH, and Oklahoma City's version was one of the hottest I'd heard out of a dozen shows, with EC rearing back and smoking it, just lost in the zone until he dropped it with some flub and turned and looked at Jordon totally bemused, shook it off and went into the next song. Same show gave us EC tearing it up in a special way on his solo in Cocaine--he totally rocked it out, zoning on it like he did in Duluth last year.

Got a peek at the guest list for the OKC show and it featured some familiar names, Radle and Oldaker, with many guests listed under JJ Cale's name. We got a look at Radle near side-stage and it was obvious he was related to Carl. During the early moments of the OKC show, Eric said something like, "Andrew Oldaker, if you're here, I saw your father the other day...takes me back."

I wondered if EC, and many in the band for that matter, were on cold meds, with Doyle and Chris wiping their noses and all acting a little silly...maybe they were all just having fun, but something was amusing them more than usual, especially during the whole of the acoustic set with EC, head slightly down and looking over his glasses laughing and at times trying not to laugh (or cough?) At one point, EC, sitting, turned his head and yelled something very loudly with a smile, but all we could make out as he turned back toward the mic was, ".......GUITAR!" Then he started into the song still smiling.

Jimmy Vaughn joined without introduction on Crossroads in San Antonio for a 5-guitar blitz (including Cray as usual) and his presence seemed to delight EC to no end. I like that EC and Robert Cray share a few moments at the mic on this one these days--Eric seems to get a special kick out of it, too.

And many thanks to Art Arias who posted about the Doyle record signing show in Austin. We happened to have a down day there, and doubtful would've known about this otherwise. We made it to the Waterloo record shop during his first song, enjoyed the FREE BEER, lol, had a quick word with him; he said he "hopes he didn't piss anyone off in Dallas." Not sure what that means unless he pulled the fire alarm that delayed that show, lol.

A couple hours after seeing Doyle, we headed over to the Saxon Pub and caught Bobby Whitlock and his wife Coco. Very, very cool experience! Bobby speaks between songs through his heart and soul with very little editing and he comes across so very genuine. He talked about EC making some kind of apparel out of the saddle Clarke Gable used in Gone With the Wind, and he talked about EC's crush on old film star Veronica Lake and the writing of that song. He also mentioned in a round about way lack of royalties from the Layla boxset. Fun show. Coco played parts of Layla on sax. We spoke to him after the show and got a pic taken with him. He said he loved living in Austin because they welcome eccentric old hippies, and it was refreshing after being thrown out of Nashville and Alabama.

Assuming everyone follow's EC's setlists at WE or elsewhere, I'll just post Bobby's setlist:

We're Lovers
Fool's Moon
Save Me
Dear Veronica
Keep on Growin'
He's Gone
Thorne Tree in the Garden
Dice of God are Always Loaded
We're the Light
If There's a Will There's a Way
Slip Away
Bell Bottom Blues

Sorry to run so long. Keep on keepin' on, and everyone on the way to shows, enjoy!!!!


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