Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival

In the summer of 2004, a spectacular gathering of musicians from across the guitar world performed together at Eric Clapton’s three-day Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas. GREAT PERFORMANCES presents highlights from the unprecedented event featuring a once-in-a-lifetime showcase of guitar luminaries performing rock anthems, blues classics, and bluegrass hits. Joining Clapton are fellow axe legends Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh, and J.J. Cale; bluesmen Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmie Vaughan; as well as James Taylor, country superstar Vince Gill, bluegrass player Dan Tyminski from Alison Krauss’ band Union Station, and young star John Mayer. Highlights include renditions of classics like “After Midnight” and “Layla,” as well as recent hits like Mayer’s “City Love.”

Proceeds from the extraordinary guitarfest went to support the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center founded by Eric Clapton in 1997. The festival also offered guitar clinics, exhibits by leading manufacturers, and displays of guitars from the private collections of Clapton and his friends, which were auctioned by Christie’s in June 2004 and garnered more than $7 million to aid the Crossroads Centre.

Visit the Web companions of two other shows that featured Eric Clapton, CREAM REUNION CONCERT (2005) and CONCERT FOR GEORGE (2003).

Special funding for ERIC CLAPTON’S CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL was provided by SBC.

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  • steve

    your writeup didn’t mention albert lee. who was the bass player with jeff beck. in fact, who were the drummers, the backup singers, the black bass player w/clapton, the ancillary guitars? in fact, all the musicians? and with video as a medium,you could print their names under their figures like a closed caption, and include complete discographies on the web site instead of a laughingly incomplete blurb

  • tm

    Sorry Steve. Albert Lee was never a bass player. He is the most fantastic electric fingerstyle guitarist alive today. giyf…

  • Karen

    the way it’s set up on google I’ve gone thru pages just trying to find regular PBS electric guitars.. I’ve EVEN typed in to search for JUST electric guitars by PBS n I get banjos, resonators, 4 n 5 stringed instruments, tenor guitars to guitar lessons. WHY ISNT THERE JUST ONE SITE ON THE INITIAL PAGE OF GOOGLE FEATURING JUST REGULAR GUITARS BY PBS?? THIS IS WAY TOO FRUSTRATING SO GUESS WILL STICK W/MY FENDERS N OVATIONS.. I WAS STUPID TO LISTEN TO A GOOD FRIEND N FELLOW ROCKER TO CHECK INTO PBS GUITARS AS ALL I’VE GOTTEN NOW IS A HEADACHE!!!

  • MIKE


  • Bobbi

    When/where will the next Crossroads concert be held? I LOVE the CD’s of the previous ones!!!

  • Bob

    tm Says:
    ‘Sorry Steve. Albert Lee was never a bass player’

    hey tm, re-read what steve wrote again……notice it now? I’m just sayin’

  • gustavo

    albert lee fue un legendario guitarrista de las decadas del 60 y 70 de un grupo llamado Ten Years After, hoy sigue tocando y hay varios discos solistas

  • Michael

    I would also like to know when it will be aired again I missed some of it and would like to see the whole concert.

  • ryder

    I also would love to see ti aired again , wasnt this the tour where that butieful verry talented young femail teen base-player played with Jeff Beck? what is her name?
    I was blown away , thanks PBS.and all the players .

  • Adam

    Karen, I think your looking for ‘PRS’ guitars. :)

  • Dave

    Tal Wilkenfeld was the young lady that made Jeff Beck wish he was 20 years younger …

  • jack slpatt

    Eric Clapton stinks!

    He struggled for years and still struggles to meld blues and rock into a cohesive riff.

    Jimi Hendrix attained this ability naturally.

    Clapton emulated and downright copied Hendrix and his sound and style.

    Like I said, Clapton stinks!

  • Antonio Carlos

    Hey, Gustavo (#7), the “Lee” from Ten Years After was ALVIN LEE and not ALBERT LEE.

  • TerryM

    Eric Slapton copied Jimi Hendricks, what a crock while I agree his speed may not be like the heavy metal slashers (hence the name slowhand) he playes with so much soul he makes up for it.

  • John K

    amazing concerts indeed – I bought both DVD sets & luv it. Yeah when will the next concert happen ? I’m from South Africa & am a keen follower.

  • Jason F

    jack, what the f*** are you talking about?! 1st of all both Clapton and Hendrix are amazing guitarists. And 2nd, Clapton has a completely different style and sound than Hendrix did. Try listening to the music next time!

  • Presboo

    Sas EC in Glendale, AZ – Arena 06/26 (with Steve Winwood)still got it BIG time at the age of 64….btw the nickname ’slowhand’ was give to him as a pun

    It was during this time period that Clapton’s Yardbirds rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja recalled that whenever Clapton broke a guitar string during a concert, he would stay on stage and replace it. The English audiences would wait out the delay by doing what is called a “slow handclap”. Clapton told his official biographer, Ray Coleman, that, “My nickname of ‘Slowhand’ came from Giorgio Gomelsky. He coined it as a good pun. He kept saying I was a fast player, so he put together the slow handclap phrase into Slowhand as a play on words”

  • Pete

    Clapton is one of the greatest guitar players ever along with Carlos, Jerry, Stevie Ray, Jimi, Buddy, Robert, and just about everyone he invited to join him at the Cotton Bowl and Chicago. It doesn’t get any better than listening to these fabulous musicians jamming together and sounding like they’ve been rehearsing these concerts for six months. I listen to them at least once every two weeks at HIGH volume!! HOLY SHIT!!!

  • Bob M

    Ryder, The FANTASTIC gal that played bass with Jeff Beck was Australia born Tal Wilkenfeld. IS SHE SOMETHING OR WHAT!!!!

  • Steve

    Hey splatt…step in front of a bus… you have no idea what you are talking about!

  • brenda stover

    Hey splatt!! Clapton is the bomb!!!! You stink!

  • dave

    I’m gonna have to agree with splatt here
    Clapton ripped off every good note he ever played. The man is a technical genius but a creative vacuum. I play a little bit and I wouldn’t consider myself worthy to tie Clapton’s shoes. However, when you compare him to some of the real blues greats like Johnny Winter, Mike Bloomfield, Peter Green, and others he just doesn’t measure up.

  • Gonz

    uh duh, Clapton’s nickname “Slowhand” was ‘Sarcastic’ because he was so fast, it was the early ’60’s. Another unwanted n/name was god, all this b4 Jimmy was ever heard of! Don’t get m wrong, I love Hendrix but, Eric was already f’in there!

  • gary

    maybe it just speaks to the enormity of the show but to have someone like derek trucks on stage and not even be mentioned here is baffeling to me.being an information freak i have to agree whith steve,ther is alot of names excluded from these credits that merit some mention.i hope this will be updated so due credit can be given.

  • dave

    yeah clapton was alread there… then he heard jimi and wanted to quit playing cause he was so amazed/overwhelmed with jimi’s sound.

    And I meant before that Clapton doesn’t measure up well against other WHITE blues greats such as JW, bloomfield, and PG. It goes without saying that slowhand cannot measure up to the great black blues slingers like t-bone, the kings, or jimi.

    A lot of people will take this as eric bashing, which is not at all what I am trying to say. Slowhand is without a doubt one of the greatest to ever touch a guitar, but if we are gonna get in to a biggest dick contest about the blues (a complete waste of time I might add), then you have to recognize clapton’s shortcomings and acknowledge that there were many guitarists out there who were much better than him

  • donquijoterocket

    I don’t think any discussion of guitarists in this vein is complete without a mention of Rory Gallagher.Also any mention of slide guitarists has to include Lowell George.I’ve been a fan of Clapton’s since his early days.His days with Cream really confirmed me and Layla put me over the top.

  • Dorf

    For those of you who have the need to compare–go ahead. But for me, the true value of the Claptons, Hendrix’s, Kings (BB, Freddy, Albert, all of them), the Robert Johnsons, and so many “old” veterans, is in the thrill they gave us young “wanna be” guitarists. They all gave us something new and exciting to try to play, and maybe even put a new spin on. There are many old blues players you may never heard of who made up a riff back in the 20’s or 30’s that we still use today. (I don’t look at it as stealing, I look at it as paying homage.) Sure, “technically” there may be “better” guitarists than some of the “old school” guys, but how many have changed musical history? Love ‘em for what they have done.

  • Casey

    I’m not sure what a PBS guitar is, I think you might be looking for PRS guitars ( Paul Reed Smith). They are fine instruments. If you are playing Fender electric’s and Ovation acoustic you will probably want to stick with what you are playing. I am a proud owner of a Fender Amer.Strat, Takamani acoustic electric, Gibson 12 string, Epiphone Les Paul copy and lately a hollow body Ibanez electric.
    Stick by your guns girl, the instrument is only a small percentage of the entire package.

  • ivan

    Steve is asking why you didn’t mention Albert Lee. Then he is asking who the bass player is for Jeff Beck which is
    Tal Wilkenfeld. He just has poor sentence structure and punctuation and its still a better read than your introduction. In which case he is correct. It stinks.

  • Trevor

    Jack – you are a Pratt! You know SFA about music. Do you really believe that Hendix could either have composed or written Layla or the Pilgrim Album?

    Just listen to STEPHEN STILLS – track 4 features Hendix, track 5 features Clapton. Hendix may have been brilliant but he was NOT great!

    Have you even bothered to listen to Doug Aldrich or Slash?

    BTW, it is 20s or 30s – NOT 20’s or 30’s (possessive case). RU dumb!


    I was there….best concert I ever saw and I’m an old hippie. OMG it was incredible. Get the DVD and don’t even tell me you didn’t like it. WOW


    How old are you? You must be kidding. I was there. It was amazing. Maybe you’re a Queen Fan or better yet
    Freddie & The Dreamers…Herman’s Hermits? In all my old hippie life I never saw any concert that was better…I’ve seen them all honey!

  • Wayne

    Trevor Clayton took credit for years for what Duane did to pull Layla out of been trashed

  • Gary

    Who is the black back up singer that travels with Clapton…she is smokin…and of course has a great voice

  • serguie kouptsoff

    i love i will love the Clapton ’s songs. they are great. i have bad records of my music russian never had money BUT i can sing the BLUES help me once to play with CLAPTON

    MY DREAM IS once to PLAY with HIM and SANTANA
    I am 57 years of age immigrated from SOVIET UNION

  • Mary

    It was a real treat to see Eric Clapton and his friends on Crossroads.

    By the way…. Do you know why he is called Eric Clapton? Because when you hear him, you will clap a ton!

  • Scot Stinson

    50% morons or some fac simelie , but here is what is the true & most import thing here ,that is Eric Clapton !!! First/foremost ,no way anyone would argue that ,if they did they should not EVEN be commenting ! OK! E.C. -Being the humble true to his CRAFT & yes I mean craft (not like most of those so called movie stars !! there a joke I dont pay to see those pompus ass punks) but back to whats worth talking about Eric Clapton is the 9bar none ) best guitarist on the planet!!! & I saw someone texted about being 57 58 /whatever –I’M 59 & have been paying attn. to music all my life > I know what I am talking about & actually I see alot of kids -Icall um kids cause my kids are 32 & 34 & I didnt start the parent thing until I was 25 so kids!!! WELL nothing I could ever say would do justice JUST listen & imagine those stupid rappers with their no talent game ???? had any GAME !!!!

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