14 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Me and Mr. Johnson became one of Eric Clapton’s best albums because it was never meant to be an album at all. These recordings emerged from a series of casual studio jams meant to fill the time while Clapton wrote new material. At this point, Robert Johnson’s repertoire wasn't so much a concept for Clapton as it was a constant. The seminal bluesman has been a predominant influence on Clapton since his earliest years, and Johnson's songs have reappeared in Clapton's work from every decade. With Me and Mr. Johnson, Clapton turned away from the terror inherent in much of Johnson’s work and instead emphasized the timelessness of his craft. These performances succeed because they aren’t bogged down by the darkness of Johnson’s legacy, instead showing that songs he wrote 75 years ago can be as fresh and vital as any modern offerings. The band’s impressively behind-the-beat groove owes as much to hard Chicago blues as it does to Johnson’s high-strung rhythms. But don’t be deceived by the simplicity. These are vital rhythms played by Clapton with titans of session work: bassist Nathan East, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, and effortlessly guileful drummer Steve Gadd.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Me and Mr. Johnson became one of Eric Clapton’s best albums because it was never meant to be an album at all. These recordings emerged from a series of casual studio jams meant to fill the time while Clapton wrote new material. At this point, Robert Johnson’s repertoire wasn't so much a concept for Clapton as it was a constant. The seminal bluesman has been a predominant influence on Clapton since his earliest years, and Johnson's songs have reappeared in Clapton's work from every decade. With Me and Mr. Johnson, Clapton turned away from the terror inherent in much of Johnson’s work and instead emphasized the timelessness of his craft. These performances succeed because they aren’t bogged down by the darkness of Johnson’s legacy, instead showing that songs he wrote 75 years ago can be as fresh and vital as any modern offerings. The band’s impressively behind-the-beat groove owes as much to hard Chicago blues as it does to Johnson’s high-strung rhythms. But don’t be deceived by the simplicity. These are vital rhythms played by Clapton with titans of session work: bassist Nathan East, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, and effortlessly guileful drummer Steve Gadd.

TITLE TIME

More By Eric Clapton

You May Also Like