Eric Clapton
Old Sock
Bushbranch Records

"Gotta Get Over" from Old Sock

Eric Clapton doesn’t need to make a new album. His vast back catalog—although not without its ups and downs—speaks for itself. With Old Sock, Clapton has fully completed the transformation from elder blues statesman to professional musicologist that started with 2010’s Clapton. This doesn’t mean Clapton has turned his back on his roots (I’ve yet to hear a note that isn’t influenced by the three Kings), but I wonder if this jazz-crooner direction is merely a phase or Clapton’s newfound voice.

Instead of cranking out his trademark blues-rock, Clapton focuses more on the groove and pays tribute to his various influences. Songs by Taj Mahal, J.J. Cale, George Gershwin, Peter Tosh, and Gary Moore surround two originals, and you need to search the nooks and crannies of these songs to find that Slowhand fire.

The most “Claptonian” track is “Gotta Get Over.” From the opening Dominos-inspired riff to the gospel-influenced chorus, this is when Clapton really shines. He not only rips out a solo but also plays some of the tastiest fills this side of the Cook County Jail. It might make some aficionados’ top 10 EC studio albums list, but I’m hoping Old Sock is just a stylistic detour before we get a sequel to From the Cradle.

Must-hear track: Gotta Get Over