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Eric Clapton’s “Sessions for Robert J”

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Earlier this year, Eric Clapton released an album he has spent his whole musical life leading up to: “Me and Mr Johnson.” Playing the songs of bluesman Robert Johnson, Clapton was able to fully express his lifelong love of Johnson’s incredible music. But like with many things — once you start them — he found out he wasn’t finished.

On “Sessions for Robert J,” a DVD/CD release coming out December 7th on Duck/Reprise Records, Eric Clapton ups the ante even more, featuring live recordings done in 2004 in four different settings. They capture all the excitement of Clapton’s love for one of the blues’ greatest artists. On both DVD and CD, this is a unique collection for the ages.

The DVD, featuring 19 songs written by Robert Johnson, was filmed in rehearsal studios in England and Texas, as well as 508 Park Ave. in Dallas, where Robert Johnson actually recorded in 1937, and ends in a hotel room in Santa Monica, California. The studio tapings feature Clapton’s full band, while the Park Ave. songs are performed by Clapton and guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, and the California segment is Clapton performing alone.

The DVD also includes exclusive interview segments and other rare footage of Clapton and his musicians rehearsing.

The CD of “Sessions for Robert J” selects 11 songs from the different filmed segments, including versions of “Four Until Late,” once recorded by Clapton in Cream, and “Ramblin’ on My Mind,” which was the musician’s debut vocal performance, first recorded when he was a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the mid-’60s.

There are few modern artists with Eric Clapton’s legacy. “Sessions for Robert J” is a stirring personal testament seen for the very first time.

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