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Eric Clapton - Crossroads Guitar Festival

Dallas, Texas - June 5-6, 2004 - Mid Valley 303-307

Disc 1: The All-Star Blues Jam
  1. The Dirty Girl
  2. Five Long Years
  3. The Twelve Year Old Boy
  4. Killing Floor
  5. Going Down Slow
  6. Sweet Home Chicago
  7. My Time After a While
  8. Six Strings Down
  9. Early in the Morning
  10. Hoochie Coochie Man
Disc 2: Sunday's Blues Jam
  1. Introduction
  2. Every Day I Have the Blues
  3. Jam
  4. Key to the Highway
  5. I Can't Be Satisfied
  6. Rock Me Baby
  7. Dirty Old Man Jam
  8. Blues Jam
  9. Five Long Years
Disc 3: J.J. Cale with Eric Clapton
  1. After Midnight (Soundboard Source 1)
  2. Cocaine (Soundboard Source 1)
  3. Call Me the Breeze (Soundboard Source 1)
  4. After Midnight (Soundboard Source 2)
  5. Cocaine (Soundboard Source 2)
  6. Call Me the Breeze (Soundboard Source 2)
  7. Call Me the Breeze (Soundboard Source 3)
  8. After Midnight (Soundboard Source 3)
  9. Reality
  10. Ride Me High
  11. Call Me the Breeze
  12. Cocaine
  13. After Midnight
  14. Travellin' Light
Disc 4: Carlos Santana
  1. Venus
  2. Upper Egypt
  3. Nomad
  4. Victory Has Won
  5. Incident at Neshabur
  6. Sonny Sharrock
  7. Jingo (Soundboard Source 1)
  8. Jingo (Soundboard Source 2)
  9. Green Light Girl (Doyle Bramhall II)
Disc 5: Eric Clapton
  1. Me and the Devil Blues
  2. They're Red Hot
  3. Milkcow's Calf Blues
  4. If I Had Posession (Over Judgment Day)
  5. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  6. I Shot the Sheriff
  7. Have You Ever Loved a Woman
  8. Badge
  9. Wonderful Tonight
  10. Layla
  11. Cocaine
  12. Cause We've Ended as Lovers (with Jeff Beck)
Disc 6 Bonus DVD / Christo and Buckminster:
  1. Crossroads Guitar Festival
  2. Tsunami Relief Cardiff - January 22, 2005
  3. Tsunami Aid - A Concert of Hope - January 15, 2005
  4. Jools Holland Hootenanny - December 31, 2004

Geetarz Comments:

The Crossroads Guitar Festival was an amazing, unique event. Plenty of effort was put forth to record the event for posterity as well as to distribute the event worldwide, live, via internet streams. Later, there was even a miserable official DVD release of portions of the event. Lots of press was generated about the recording and distribution of the event - notably, electronics manufacturer AMD even ran a prominent series of advertisements touting their association with the event.

There was only one real problem with all of this: most of the available recordings sound like crap! In this reviewer's opinion, the Crossroads Guitar Festival stands alone as the worst-sounding professional recording from an outdoor event in the 21st century. Granted, many of the recordings suffer as they were taken from internet streaming audio or lossy satellite radio transmissions, but this obscures the fact that even the officially released material just does not sound very good, or at the very least doesn't compare to audio professionally recorded at other events of its size in recent years. It's a mystery to me and I'm not sure if the problems are in the equipment used or perhaps in post-processing techniques that may have been applied to the recordings.

With that said, Mid Valley set out to do the best they could with the materials available and have once again hit a home run. They have obtained many of the various sources for some of the performances, and grouped them here to listeners can pick their favorites - for the JJ Cale / EC set alone one can choose between three different soundboard and one audience source. *This* is the way box sets should be done. Many of the recordings still suffer from the problems inherent in their nature, but at least they are provided here in as good a quality one will find anywhere. Recommended.

One small note: the cover art lists the performance dates as "June 4-6 in Fair Park, Dallas" and this was indeed the scope of the CRGF; however the recordings included on this set only encompass those found on June 5 and 6.