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Festival stage at Chicago's Toyota Park (credit: Dave Allocca, Starpix)Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Chicago

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Rebroadcasting on March 19, 2008 on PBS
(check local listings)
Premiered on November 28, 2007 on PBS


Grammy Award®-winning guitar superstar Eric Clapton once again teams up with fellow "guitar gods" to present another Crossroads Guitar Festival, this time from Chicago, America's blues capital. Like its predecessor, the concert was a benefit for Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a drug and alcohol education and treatment facility. "The Crossroads Festival is the realization of a dream for me, to gather a group of amazingly talented musicians to perform on one stage," says Clapton, who remains on stage virtually throughout the entire concert. "The Crossroads performers are all musicians I admire and respect." Hosted by comedian and actor Bill Murray, the program features a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of guitar superstars, including Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Los Lobos, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Robbie Robertson, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Steve Winwood, and more.

Eric Clapton's autobiography, CLAPTON THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, was released in October 2007, and here's what he writes about first encountering blues music:

"It's very difficult to explain the effect the first blues record I heard had on me, except to say that I recognized it immediately. It was as if I were being reintroduced to something that I already knew, maybe from another, earlier life. For me there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall. This was the feeling I had when I first heard the Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee song on Uncle Mac, and the same thing happened when I first heard Big Bill Broonzy."

Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, and Tampa Red were among the early blues artists who migrated from the South to Chicago and began performing and recording in the city before World War II. Discover more about the events and individuals who helped make Chicago a mecca for the blues, especially during the 1950s, in the essay by contributor Robert Santelli. Watch excerpts of "Who Do You Love?," "Anyday," and "Dear Mr. Fantasy," and browse photos from the festival in the Multimedia Presentation. Find a directory of all the music from the program in the song list.

Additional funding for ERIC CLAPTON CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL CHICAGO was provided by Starr Foundation.

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Top banner photo: Festival stage at Chicago's Toyota Park (credit: Dave Allocca, Starpix)

Eric Clapton
photo: Eric Clapton

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