The second Crossroads Guitar Festival, a daylong concert featuring legendary music and collaborations, was held on July 28, 2007 to benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. This 2-disc DVD is the follow-up to 2004 s certified eight-time platinum DVD Crossroads Guitar Festival. The festival displayed a wide range of styles from rock to blues to country and featured myriad artists including the infamous Eric Clapton. Highlights include Clapton regrouping with Blind Faith band mate Steve Winwood, a virtuosic instrumental set from Jeff Beck, Vince Gill performing along with Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson, and much more. Over four hours of material featuring the world s greatest guitar players is presented in 5.1 Dolby surround sound. Royalties from the sale will go to benefit Crossroads Centre, Antigua.
A lot of good (and some great) music for a worthy cause takes center stage once again as Eric Clapton hosts the second edition of his Crossroads Guitar Festival, a benefit for his Crossroads Centre rehab facility in Antigua and a near embarrassment of six-string riches occupying two discs. Staged in suburban Chicago in July, 2007, it features several of the same players who were at the first concert (2004, in Dallas), including Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Mayer, Vince Gill, John McLaughlin, and Robert Randolph. They're all in fine form, but it's those appearing for the first time who make the biggest impressions. Derek Trucks, who performs on his own, with his wife (Susan Tedeschi, herself an excellent blues guitarist), and backing several other artists (including a frighteningly decrepit-looking Johnny Winter), is a strikingly versatile young player. On the other end of the generational spectrum, the veteran Albert Lee spins out a series of stupefyingly swift licks on "Country Boy," while Jeff Beck is, well, Jeff Beck, at age 63 still inarguably one of the most original musicians to ever strap on a Stratocaster. While most of the others are content to play straight blues or blues-derived rock, Beck sounds as if he's riding a spaceship with strings, wringing sounds out of his instrument that defy understanding, let alone imitation; backed by ace drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and 22-year-old Tal Wilkenfeld, who may be the most exciting electric bassist to emerge since Jaco Pastorius, Beck delivers versions of "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers" and "Big Block" that are the highlights of the show. Elsewhere, Clapton, as is his wont, rises to the occasion in the presence of his peers and plays with considerable passion, even if his "reunion" with Steve Winwood lacks fire (mostly due to the lackluster nature of their Blind Faith-era material, other than the lovely "Can't Find My Way Home"). In the end, one might wish for more good songs, as opposed to opportunities for extended soloing, but even diehard axe-heads will surely be satiated after some four hours of hot licks. As for everyone else, well, that's why God invented the fast forward button. --Sam Graham