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The year was 1969. Blind Faith, rock’s first ‘official’ super-group had formed and was reluctantly touring to promote their first (and only album). Disillusioned by the stardom that Cream and Blind Faith had bestowed upon him, guitarist Eric Clapton found exactly what he longed for in Blind Faith’s opening act; a rootsy rock ‘n’ soul group from America called Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. The enjoyment the band appeared to be having together, along with their energetic stage-presence and their ‘down home’ sound, shed light on the musical path that the British guitar-God had been searching for since Cream’s end.
Against the rest of Blind Faith’s wishes, Clapton began taking the stage nightly, with the dynamic opening act and when his ‘super-group’ met their inevitable demise in October of 1969, the guitar-slinger decided to take to the road as a sideman in Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett’s traveling musical family.
It was under the Bramletts’ tutelage that Clapton found his voice as a front-man and singer. It was his relationship with Delaney and Bonnie (and their band) that led to one of his most artistically fruitful periods; most notably his first solo album and the eventual formation of Derek and The Dominos.
Released in June of 1970, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends’ ON TOUR WITH ERIC CLAPTON was recorded live on December 7th, 1969 at Fairfield Halls in the U.K. and featured Clapton and future Dominos Bobbie Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon as well as Leon Russell, Dave Mason and George Harrison. The album reached #29 on the Billboard album charts and has proven to be the Bramlett’s most successful recording.
Now, 40 years later, the good people at Rhino Handmade are giving ON TOUR WITH ERIC CLAPTON more than just the standard ‘deluxe’ treatment. Due out this July, the reissue will contain four discs featuring four complete concerts from December of 1969 and over three hours of unreleased performances…including Clapton singing a rare gem from his first solo album, “I Don’t Know Why”!!!
The following passage has been taken from www.rhino.com:
The set, which comes packaged in a mock road case, contains Delaney & Bonnie & Friends’ complete performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, plus a composite of the next night’s performances at Colston Hall in Bristol, and both the early and late shows from the tour’s final stop at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. Along with the Bramletts, the touring band showcased on these discs includes guitarists Eric Clapton and Dave Mason, bassist Carl Radle, drummer Jim Gordon, organist Bobby Whitlock, Jim Price and Bobby Keys on horns, percussionist Tex Johnson, and singer Rita Coolidge. The Croydon shows also features Mysterioso (aka George Harrison), who can be heard playing bottleneck slide, a technique Harrison reportedly learned from Delaney during this tour.
Along with unreleased versions of all the songs from the original, this reissue also contains several songs not featured on the 1970 album, including “I Don’t Know Why” a track the Bramletts penned with Clapton; “My Baby Specializes” and “Everybody Loves A Winner” from the Bramlett’s debut HOME; “Get Ourselves Together” from the couple’s 1969 follow-up ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTE; the traditional “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”; a cover of Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’”; and the instrumental “Pigmy.”
For more information and to preview tracks, visit Rhino’s site by clicking HERE.
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NYC blues fans, make sure you check out Johnny Winter live at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill on June 23rd and Chuck Berry on June 25th !!!
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