Eric Clapton has announced his only North American dates for 2021. Tickets for the eight-date Southern run this September go on sale starting Friday, June 18th at 10 a.m. local time. The shows will feature Jimmie Vaughan as special guest. Clapton’s band for these shows will include Doyle Bramhall II, Paul Carrack, Nathan East, Sonny Emory, Steve Gadd, and Chris Stainton — with Sharon White and Katie Kissoon on backing vocals.
Bassist Nathan East has recorded and toured with Clapton off and on since “Slowhand’s” 1986 August album. East describes his rapport with Clapton: “There’s a lot of laughing that goes on and we play foosball. We’re at each other’s throat constantly on some level! (Laughs) but it’s all a joy, and we just have a good time working together and he’s just been a dear, dear friend on top of that.”
Guitarist Doyle Bramhall II has been a mainstay of Eric Clapton’s live band over the years, and told us that playing with Clapton is nothing short of a joy: “It’s really laid back. He lets me do whatever I want to do, and if I can add something to the song, then he just says, y’know, ‘Go for it — whatever you want to do,’ so it’s pretty laid back. He’s pretty forgiving of things that I do, and he likes things when I think, y’know, ‘Was that good enough?’ because (when) you’re playing with someone like Eric Clapton, you want to give your best effort, and you want to be the best all the time, but he likes a lot of my ideas, and it’s great.”
JUST ANNOUNCED: Eric Clapton North American tour dates (subject to change):
September 13 – Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena
September 15 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
September 17 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
September 18 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
September 21 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
September 23 – Atlanta, GA – Gas South Arena
September 25 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
September 26 – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock
IN OTHER CLAPTON NEWS
During a chat with the YouTube channel Oracle Films, Eric Clapton revealed his anti-vaccination stance on Covid has cost him some of his friendships, explaining, “I’ve tried to reach out to fellow musicians. I just don’t hear from them anymore. My phone doesn’t ring very often. I don’t get that many texts and emails any more. It’s quite noticeable. I thought quite strongly about taking my family away from England. We’ll go and live somewhere else, we’ll start somewhere else.”
The guitarist, who had a severely adverse reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine, went on to say the ramifications of his vax stance have been been swift and shocking — even between him and members of his family: “I was ostracized. And I could feel that everywhere. I could feel alienation because I held a different view.”
Clapton went on to say, “I believe most of all in free speech and freedom of movement. And life and love and kindness. I’ve seen scorn and contempt from both sides. And I get caught in the crossfire a lot. But I don’t really feel educated enough to know enough about either of these areas.”
Last December, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison joined forces for a single, titled, “Stand And Deliver.” The track, written by Morrison and sung by Clapton, raised funds for Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, “which helps musicians facing difficulties as a result of the coronavirus and resulting lockdown measures.”
The pair have joined forces once again for the new track. “The Rebels,” which is a re-worked version of Morrison’s “Where Have All the Rebels Gone?” from his recent album, Latest Record Project, Volume 1. The track, which is billed to Slowhand & Van, is available as a 12-inch single, with artwork by Clapton’s daughter, Julie Clapton.
Proceeds from both the single and the limited-edition fine print of the artwork will benefit the Van Morrison Rhythm & Blues Foundation, which assists musicians struggling with financial hardships.