Album review | POP

Eric Clapton & Friends, ‘The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale’

Eric Clapton is a disciple fervent about sharing his influences, whether they be bluesman Robert Johnson or, in this case, JJ Cale, the creator of the easy-loping Tulsa Sound. Clapton had two ’70s hits (“After Midnight” and “Cocaine”) with tunes by Cale, who died last year; now, he goes all out to honor Cale’s memory, recruiting Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, and John Mayer to cover his songs. Clapton shares some of his most transcendent guitar playing in years, especially the slide-guitar peaks of “I’ll Be There” and “I Got the Same Old Blues.” Most of his collaborations are inspired, notably with Knopfler on the chooglin’ “Train to Nowhere” and with Petty on the swampy “Rock and Roll Records” (with the typically wry Cale line: “I make rock and roll records / I sell ’em for a dime”). Guest guitarists include Albert Lee, David Lindley, and Derek Trucks, so there’s no shortage of virtuosity. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Call Me the Breeze”