The Crossroads Guitar Festival hit Madison Square Garden in April this year with tickets selling out in the blink of an eye. It's no wonder either, with some of the best guitarists in music history making up the line-up at the 2013 event including the Allman Brothers Band, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Gary Clark Jr., Vince Gill, John Mayer and, of course, festival organiser Eric Clapton. Clapton has been curating this event since 2004 with talent-filled festival taking place every 3 years in aid of the Crossroads Center Antigua - a private drug rehabilitation centre founded by the artist himself.
Blues legends and modern artists jam on stage at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival at the weekend.
Eric Clapton, BB King and John Mayer were among some of genius performers at Clapton's fourth Crossroads Guitar Festival last weekend.
It was a blues infused weekend at Eric Clapton's fourth tri-annual Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12th - 13th 2013 at Madison Square Garden, New York with guests ranging from the legends, to the more modern performers of the genre. 68-year-old Clapton, who remains to be the only three-time inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was seen enjoying a jam session with the King of blues BB King, 87, while John Mayer teamed with country star Keith Urban to show that there was little to sneer at with modern blues-pop. 'The Blues Brothers' star Dan Aykroyd, also made an appearance in a pair of Ray-Bans and a suit reminiscent of the 1980 movie, as well as Texan guitarist Gary Clark Jr. with his band and 76-year-old former Muddy Waters member Buddy Guy.
Made a significant contribution to American culture recently? Well unless you're in that headline, you've not done well enough. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin have, and they've been recognized with a Kennedy centre honour because of it. Here are the winners:
Robert De Niro introduced actor and director Dustin Hoffman as a "world class, spectacular, colossal ... pain in the ass," before the 2000-strong audience were privy to a compilation of some of his best and most loved performances. "He just thinks at a different velocity," actor Liev Schreiber told reporters on the red carpet. "He burns at a brighter intensity," he added, according to Time.
Natalia Makarova, renowned for her work as the lead in Giselle, became a star dancing with the Kirov Ballet in the 1950s and 1960s. She was awarded for her pure dedication and excellence in her field. Buddy Guy has won six Grammys for his work in rock as well as traditional and contemporary blues, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it was about time the Kennedy Center gave him a call.
Gary Clark Jr - a musician often described as the savior of blues music - has released his first major label record on Warner Brothers. Influenced by the likes of Buddy Guy and B.B King, Clark Jr's sound is, unsurprisingly, rooted in American blues, though his new record - incidentally titled 'Blak and Blue'- ventures into uncharted territory.
He forays into retro-soul, R&B and shades of hip-hop, all of which has impressed the critics. Jon Pareles of Rolling Stone magazine also hears garage rock and psychedelia though insists, "The album's core is still the blues. Clark dips into the historical timeline, sampling a juke joint's worth of 20th-century styles: from the rural slide-guitar picking of "Next Door Neighbor Blues" to the desolate tidings and incendiary lead guitar of "When My Train Pulls In." The New York Times' Nate Chinen suggests, "Still, the album's core strength lies in its approximation of what Mr. Clark can do onstage," which is play blues-guitarist really, really well. In fact, Clark is considered to be one of the finest blues musicians around.
The long-standing rocker is winning high praise for figuring out how a veteran bluesman can possibly thrive in 2012.
When the Stones take the stage at New York City's Beacon Theater, it's frightening -- their age truly shows on film. As giants on the silver screen, we have a front row seat for an exhibition of frail bodies moving in ways that only young men should move. As Mick Jagger belts out songs of youthful rebellion and sexual frustration, he still does the same androgynous dances of yesteryear. Yet, this off-putting display of aged youth is clearly a place of sentiment for Scorsese, whose camera lingers with love.
Continue reading: Shine A Light Review
The name of the train was the Festival Express, and filmmaker Bob Smeaton was on hand to film it [er, or not -- see below].
Continue reading: Festival Express Review