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.
“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.
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.”
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.
“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]