Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Eric Clapton announces Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010

This year was looking like it might be the first one in a while to be festival-free on my concert schedule.  After attending on average, 3-4 festivals each year for the past few years, my cranky concert going self was telling me that it might be time for a break.

But I didn't count on Eric Clapton announcing round 3 of the Crossroads Guitar Festival, set to return to Toyota Park (outside of Chicago) on Saturday, June 26th.  Think about the famous concert broadcasts that you've seen - a show like Live Aid for instance.  Crossroads is just like that - star-studded with nearly every amazing guitar player from one side of the bill to the other.  Although some folks certainly grumbled about the inclusion of artists like Sheryl Crow and John Mayer in the last installment, Clapton's methodology of inclusion seems simple - if you're a guitar player in his Rolodex willing to come out to jam for a good cause, you're in!

Crossroads Guitar Festival

Although I've been to my fair share of really cool shows over the years, the 2007 edition of Crossroads topped everything, a dream ticket that likely will never be beaten.  Ticket acquisition was difficult - I was out of town on the day that tickets went on sale, so I left the ticket buying task in the hands of my friend Rebecca, a true concert going professional that I knew would be up to the challenge.  Unfortunately, even in the hands of a ticket buying professional, I still came up short - tickets went on sale, and they were gone in seconds.  Shut out. No tickets. I was bummed, but we gave it our best shot, right? A subsequent ticket drop also left me ticketless, and after that second shot, it seemed like I'd probably be watching the DVD at home like everybody else.  But then, the week of the show, I happened to catch a passing news mention that one final block of tickets (ticket holds for band members/etc.) would be released.  Chance #3 at a pair of tickets sat there staring me in the face, and with a few clicks of the mouse, I finally had tickets to Crossroads.

99 percent of the artists that played Crossroads that year are represented on the DVD, with only Alison Krauss missing - every time she came out on stage, she unfortunately encountered sound issues (feedback, etc) that probably made all of her footage unusable.  Everybody else though, is accounted for, and if you've seen the DVD, you know what an amazing day of music Crossroads 2007 was.  For me, the on-stage reunion of Clapton and Winwood at Crossroads was superior in comparison to the short tour that came through the States last year.  It was fresh and spontaneous, something that had worn away a bit by the time the pair made it to the show that I saw in Columbus last summer.  And, I'd add, the secret weapon of Derek Trucks playing guitar in Clapton's band for Crossroads was a big missing piece as well.

If you missed Crossroads 2007, the good news is that you've got another shot with the freshly announced Crossroads 2010, featuring a lineup that includes nearly all of the performers that were at Crossroads 2007 - a virtual make-good performance for everyone looking to experience the magic of Crossroads for themselves.  Highlights that are new to this year's lineup include The Allman Brothers Band, Keb'Mo' and bossa nova legend Joao Gilberto, making a rare appearance outside of Brazil.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday, February 20th at 10 AM Central.  Priced at $100, the tickets are truly a bargain for the 12 hours of music that you can look forward to.  Here's the announced lineup (so far) for this year's festival.

Albert Lee
Allman Brothers Band
BB King
Bert Jansch
Buddy Guy
David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos
Doyle Bramhall II
Earl Klugh
Eric Clapton
Gary Clark Jr.
Hubert Sumlin
James Burton
Jeff Beck
Jimmie Vaughan
Joao Gilberto
Joe Bonamassa
John Mayer
Keb Mo
Pino Daniele
Robert Cray
Robert Randolph
Sheryl Crow
Sonny Landreth
Steve Winwood
Vince Gill
ZZ Top

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