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JJ Cale - The Road to Escondido

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The Road to Escondido

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton

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La question n’est pas de savoir pourquoi un tel duo, mais bien pourquoi avoir attendu si longtemps : du point de vue de la carrière d’Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale reste effectivement l’ami américain, celui qui permit (nous sommes alors en 1970) au guitariste le plus vénéré de sa génération de s’affranchir d’un lourd héritage, celui du premier super groupe de l’histoire du rock (Cream). « After Midnight », composé par l’Américain, fut donc un hit pour le Britannique, qui remit cela en 1977, grâce à « Cocaine ».

Ensuite, et c’est une image troublante, Eric Clapton a évolué jusqu’aux confins du bon goût et d’un rock adulte proche de la variété, alors que J.J. Cale a (involontairement ?) symbolisé la permanence de la fidélité à un style – et, partant, à une façon de vivre – et de l’appréhension d’un métier. Trente-cinq années plus tard donc, Eric Clapton, qui n’en peut plus de se rassurer, grâce à des racines authentiques ou inventées (album en duo avec B.B. King, hommage au bluesman Robert Johnson) vient, comme un Bourgeois de Calais, se livrer à un personnage historique.

J.J. Cale déboule avec son groupe habituel, Eric Clapton offre l’une de ses dernières séances à l’organiste Billy Preston ; J.J. Cale compose l’énorme majorité des chansons (il y a une belle version du « Sporting Life Blues » de Brownie McGhee, aussi), Eric Clapton choisit le producteur, lisse et anecdotique, Simon Climie.

Alors, et pour mettre tout le monde d’accord, J.J. Cale commence à chanter. C’est à cet instant que le trouble envahit l’auditeur, au constat qu’il est impossible de discerner les deux chanteurs, non pas comme une pâle copie de l’un (Clapton) face à l’autre (Cale), mais bien comme une véritable osmose.

On comprend alors que The Road to Escondido représente, bien davantage qu’un simple serment d’allégeance : la reconnaissance d’une explicite dette artistique. Cet album, en échange de bons procédés, permet assurément à J.J. Cale de rencontrer un public beaucoup plus large que d’habitude... mais c’est le meilleur disque d’Eric Clapton depuis des lustres. Classé dans le Top 30, The Road to Escondido fut gratifié en 2007 du Grammy Award du meilleur album de blues contemporain.
© Christian Larrède / Music-Story

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The Road to Escondido

JJ Cale

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1
Danger Album Version
00:05:32

Derek Trucks, Additional Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Additional Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Additional Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Additional Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

2
Heads in Georgia Album Version
00:04:09

Derek Trucks, Additional Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Additional Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Additional Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Additional Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

3
Missing Person Album Version
00:04:26

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

4
When the War Is Over Album Version
00:03:48

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Producer, Percussion, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Guitar, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

5
Sporting Life Blues Album Version
00:03:31

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Producer, Percussion, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Guitar, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Keyboards, Organ, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn - Brownie McGhee, Writer

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

6
Dead End Road Album Version
00:03:27

Derek Trucks, Additional Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Additional Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Additional Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Additional Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

7
It's Easy Album Version
00:04:16

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Guitar - Joel Evenden, Pro Tools - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

8
Hard to Thrill Album Version
00:05:10

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Guitar, Writer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

9
Anyway the Wind Blows Album Version
00:03:54

Derek Trucks, Additional Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Additional Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - J. J. Cale, Writer - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Additional Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Additional Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

10
Three Little Girls Album Version
00:02:43

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Producer, Percussion, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Guitar, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Keyboards, Organ, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Writer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

11
Don't Cry Sister Album Version
00:03:08

Derek Trucks, Additional Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Additional Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Additional Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Additional Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

12
Last Will and Testament Album Version
00:03:56

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Piano, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - John Mayer, Guitar - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

13
Who Am I Telling You? Album Version
00:04:06

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Producer, Percussion, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Guitar, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

14
Ride the River Album Version
00:04:35

Derek Trucks, Guitar - Nathan East, Bass - Simon Climie, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programmer, Pro Tools - Doyle Bramhall II, Guitar - Walt Richmond, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer - Marty Grebb, Guitar, Horn - Gary Gilmore, Bass - Willie Weeks, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Masterer - STEVE JORDAN, Drums - J.J. CALE, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Steve Madaio, Horn - Taj Mahal, Harmonica - Tom Bender, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Billy Preston, Organ, Fender Rhodes Keyboards, Wurlitzer - Eric Clapton, Producer, MainArtist - Jimmy Hoyson, Assistant Engineer - Alan Douglas, Mixer, Recorded by - Brian Vibberts, Assistant Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Albert Lee, Guitar - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer - Joel Evenden, Assistant Engineer - Abraham Laboriel Jnr, Drums - Christine Lakeland, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals - David Teegarden, Percussion - Dennis Caplinger, Fiddle - James Cruce, Drums, Percussion - Jim Karstein, Drums, Percussion - Phillippe Roe, Assistant Engineer - Bruce Fowler, Horn - Jerry Peterson, Horn

2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

Descriptif de l'album

La question n’est pas de savoir pourquoi un tel duo, mais bien pourquoi avoir attendu si longtemps : du point de vue de la carrière d’Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale reste effectivement l’ami américain, celui qui permit (nous sommes alors en 1970) au guitariste le plus vénéré de sa génération de s’affranchir d’un lourd héritage, celui du premier super groupe de l’histoire du rock (Cream). « After Midnight », composé par l’Américain, fut donc un hit pour le Britannique, qui remit cela en 1977, grâce à « Cocaine ».

Ensuite, et c’est une image troublante, Eric Clapton a évolué jusqu’aux confins du bon goût et d’un rock adulte proche de la variété, alors que J.J. Cale a (involontairement ?) symbolisé la permanence de la fidélité à un style – et, partant, à une façon de vivre – et de l’appréhension d’un métier. Trente-cinq années plus tard donc, Eric Clapton, qui n’en peut plus de se rassurer, grâce à des racines authentiques ou inventées (album en duo avec B.B. King, hommage au bluesman Robert Johnson) vient, comme un Bourgeois de Calais, se livrer à un personnage historique.

J.J. Cale déboule avec son groupe habituel, Eric Clapton offre l’une de ses dernières séances à l’organiste Billy Preston ; J.J. Cale compose l’énorme majorité des chansons (il y a une belle version du « Sporting Life Blues » de Brownie McGhee, aussi), Eric Clapton choisit le producteur, lisse et anecdotique, Simon Climie.

Alors, et pour mettre tout le monde d’accord, J.J. Cale commence à chanter. C’est à cet instant que le trouble envahit l’auditeur, au constat qu’il est impossible de discerner les deux chanteurs, non pas comme une pâle copie de l’un (Clapton) face à l’autre (Cale), mais bien comme une véritable osmose.

On comprend alors que The Road to Escondido représente, bien davantage qu’un simple serment d’allégeance : la reconnaissance d’une explicite dette artistique. Cet album, en échange de bons procédés, permet assurément à J.J. Cale de rencontrer un public beaucoup plus large que d’habitude... mais c’est le meilleur disque d’Eric Clapton depuis des lustres. Classé dans le Top 30, The Road to Escondido fut gratifié en 2007 du Grammy Award du meilleur album de blues contemporain.
© Christian Larrède / Music-Story

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