Out today (November 12th) is Eric Clapton‘s new studio set, The Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions. The 17-track collection was produced by Russ Titelman, and features scaled back, full-band renditions of country and blues standards along with such Clapton standards as “After Midnight,” “Layla,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Tears In Heaven,” “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” and “Key To The Highway.”
Backing Clapton are longtime sidemen Nathan East on bass and vocals, Steve Gadd on drums, and Chris Stainton and keyboards. The album was tracked at Cowdray House in West Sussex, England.
According to the album’s press release:
The project was initiated as the result of the forced cancellation of Eric Clapton’s concerts scheduled for May 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall due to the continued disruption caused by the pandemic. Looking for a viable alternative and hoping to keep his options open, he reconvened with his band to the English countryside and staged a concert in the presence of only the participants themselves while letting the cameras roll. Clapton’s wife Melia, the sole outside observer inspired the Sessions title.
The mostly acoustic set was envisioned to be like an Eric Clapton Unplugged II, but not quite, as three songs are played with electric guitars. The result became far more than simply a sequence of greatest hits. Rather, it’s one of the most intimate and authentic performances of Clapton’s entire career, an offering flush with real insight into the make-up of his indelible catalogue.
Eric Clapton, who’s now happily married with four daughters, said that having a stable family and home life keeps him grounded: “I’m hoping, maybe, that there’s an evolution going on in my character, which makes it so that I’m just a little bit more accessible — a little bit more sane — about the reality of what I need to be, y’know, and what my life is composed of these days. I’m married and I have kids, and that, that home thing is actually there, and is actually waiting for me. So it’s not so much anxiety about that anymore. Nothing has to be that drastic or dramatic as it used to be.”
The tracklisting to Eric Clapton’s ‘The Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions’ is: “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” “Golden Ring,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Man Of The World,” “Kerry,” “After Midnight,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Key To The Highway,” “River Of Tears,” “Rock Me Baby,” “Believe In Life,” “Going Down Slow,” “Layla,” “Tears In Heaven,” “Long Distance Call,” “Bad Boy,” and “Got My Mojo Working.”