Best known to most as one third of blues/psych trio Cream, Jack Bruce was one of the world’s finest bassists. In little over eighteen months as a member of that band, his profile was elevated to world-famous status, as he pitted his huge bass sound against Eric Clapton’s fuzzy guitars and Ginger Baker’s powerhouse drumming. Those few months in the spotlight alone would be enough to ensure he would be influential to millions and forever remembered, but the work of John Symon Asher Bruce left a bigger mark on the world over a career that spanned six decades.
British rock band Slam Cartel released their debut album ‘Handful of Dreams’ in 2011. Since then, the band have gone through a few changes and played a seemingly endless stream of gigs. REAL GONE caught up with guitarist Damo Fawsett to discuss his influences, as well as the band’s past, present and future. Bringing a few insights into the world of a hard-working band – as well as Zeppelin-y tangent – a lengthy chat ensued…
In September 2013, the Universal Music group announced an addition to their ever growing collection of lavish, multi-disc box sets. ‘Give Me Strength’, a near comprehensive collection of Eric Clapton’s 1974/75 studio sessions with the addition of a few unreleased nuggets became a reality. In addition to its two discs of studio recordings, the set also pulls together two discs of live material from the three concerts that spawned 1975’s ‘EC Was Here’ live album (nice, but all previously released on the ‘Crossroads 2: Live In The 70s’ four disc set).
Following Eric Clapton’s 1992 appearance on ‘MTV Unplugged’, in terms of inspiration, his recorded output floundered for two decades. While three albums of blues covers (one made up of standards, two of Robert Johnson numbers) are full of enjoyable moments, the rest of his post- ‘Unplugged’ work hardly ever hints at any former glories. At best (as with parts of 2001’s ‘Reptile’), these albums represent a once-fiery musician drifting into late middle age with wishy-washy results, while at worst (1998’s ‘Pilgrim’ and 2010’s ‘Clapton’), the albums are full of easy listening material which the younger Clapton possibly wouldn’t have given the time of day. On his pompously packaged eponymous release of 2010, the clean and sober Eric Clapton had a fixation with 30s and 40s jazz standards and – in comparison to his much younger self – had largely become a musical irrelevance. A somewhat legendary irrelevance, perhaps, but fact is, ‘Clapton’ (the album) presented very little that would interest anyone but the most died in the wool fan…and even some of those found the record to be often forgettable.