Don't go into this disc expecting Clapton plus some JJ Cale - The Road To Escondido is a JJ Cale album with some Clapton in it. Clapton barely raises a sweat in among the dozens of 'guests' (some of whom, such as Derek Trucks, provide the best guitar moments on the disc), and the overall effect, with Cale's laidback bouncy country feel and the doubled up lead vocals, is of a bluesier Chas 'n' Dave.
Cale wrote 11 of the 14 songs, and it is miserably overproduced to the point of slickness by long-time Clapton oiler/ spoiler Simon Climie. While it is certainly a whole lot more fun than Clapton's last Climie disc, Back Home, and it is a whole lot more energetic than Cale usually gets, this is a disc that grates in the amount of room it leaves to the edge of any one individual's envelope. This sounded such an appealing prospect - now Climie's done what he's done, it's a more appalling prospect.