Guitar icon Eric Clapton will be delivering a new album this Spring titled I Still Do. The album will be his 23rd studio album and his website has announced that it will be released May 20.
The duo last worked together on Clapton’s signature album, Slowhand, which featured such hits as “Cocaine” and “Lay Down Sally.” Other notable works by producer Johns includes The Who’s “Who’s Next,” The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers,” Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dog’s & Englishmen,” and the Eagles’ “Desperado.”
“This was a long and overdue opportunity to work with Glyn Johns again, and also, incidentally, the 40th anniversary of Slowhand,” Clapton said in a statement.
The album is a follow up to Clapton’s 2014 tribute album to longtime friend and late musician J.J. Cale: The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Clapton has often referred to his late friend and fellow musician, who wrote such songs as “Cocaine” and “After Midnight,” as the single most important figure in rock history. It was that same year that Clapton informed Rolling Stone that he had plans to compose another LP.
The album’s set list includes a few blues staples from legendary bluesmen Robert Johnson and Leroy Carr, along with a few originals; the songs are backed by familiar faces in Clapton’s camp including drummer Henry Spinetti, bassist Dave Bronze, guitarist Andy Fairweather Low and organist Paul Carrack.
A notable detail from the album is the contribution from renowned artist Sir Peter Blake, who is responsible for the cover art which features a self-portrait of Clapton. Sir Blake is well known for his co-design of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Who’s Face Dances and considered a pioneer of “Pop Art.”
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Late last year, Clapton’s team also announced that he and his band would be heading a five-night residency at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan taking place a month before I Still Do’s release running thru April 13-19; aside from his Tokyo dates, no upcoming shows have been announced.
At age 70, it’s uncertain how much Slowhand has left in the tank. Long considered one of the greatest guitarist of all-time, Clapton was recently ranked second (behind Jimi Hendrix) in Rolling Stone‘s poll of the “100 Greatest Guitariss of All Time“. Like many musicians of his generation, Clapton has toured extensively throughout his career and recently hinted at curtailing his touring due to the “unbearable” demand of the road.
In 2014, he admitted to Uncut magazine that he is considering wrapping up life on the road and focusing more of his time in the studio while also considering his retirement from his 50 plus years in the music industry.
“There are tons of things I’d like to do, but I’m looking at retirement too,” Clapton told the magazine. “What I’ll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don’t want to go off the boil to the point where I’m embarrassing myself.”
His influence in music runs as deep and long as the bends heard in his iconic guitar solos, from John Mayer to Wyclef Jean, it’s nearly impossible to dismiss his impact on musical culture.
Aside from Hendrix, Clapton has been the cause behind millions of individuals who drive to pick up a Fender Stratocaster and replicate the simplistic complexity behind his blues’ based solos to one day, like Clapton, be considered a guitar god.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File]