On May 20, Eric Clapton will release his 23rd studio album, I Still Do. The LP marks a reunion with producer Glyn Johns, who helmed some of Clapton’s bestselling work in the ‘70s, most famously 1977’s Slowhand and the hits Cocaine and Wonderful Tonight.
Clapton and Johns sat down with British television host Paul Whitehouse to discuss various aspects of the 12-song effort, as well as Clapton’s career on BB King’s Bluesville (Ch. 70).
Speaking of Clapton’s guitar playing, Johns explained that it is driven by emotion rather than calculation and goes “straight from his heart to his fingers.”
“The thing about Eric’s guitar playing for me has always been that he’s not one of the guitar players that sits and works things out,” he said. “It comes literally as an emotive response as he’s playing. So, therefore, his playing in my view goes straight from his heart to his fingers. It doesn’t go via his brain. I know lots of guitar players who are brilliant, who are the complete reverse of that. George being one for example. George Harrison worked everything out to the most intimate degree. But with Eric, you could do three takes of the same thing, and they’d all be completely different. And that would just be his emotive response to what he was doing.”
They also discussed the song Alabama Woman, which Johns said Clapton had cut “a few times and has never really been satisfied with it until now.”
Elsewhere, Clapton addressed a problem he had with his hand while recording the new album.
In addition to new original tunes, I Still Do features covers of classics by Bob Dylan and Robert Johnson (“I love doing covers,” Clapton said), as well as a posthumous vocal and guitar cameo by his late friend and former Beatle George Harrison.
Join BB King’s Bluesville in celebrating the forthcoming release of I Still Do as they play music from the album every hour for the week leading up to release, beginning Friday 5/13 at 6 am ET through Friday 5/20.