2 CD edition. History rocked and rock made history during a sold-out three-gig stand at Madison Square Garden in late February 2008 when icons Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood performed a concert together for the first time ... more »since their all-too-brief days in the legendary Blind Faith in 1969. Whether they will ever team again is unknown. But with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live From Madison Square Garden, fans everywhere are able to experience the sound and the glory of a performance on that famous stage by two of rock's greatest artists.« less
2 CD edition. History rocked and rock made history during a sold-out three-gig stand at Madison Square Garden in late February 2008 when icons Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood performed a concert together for the first time since their all-too-brief days in the legendary Blind Faith in 1969. Whether they will ever team again is unknown. But with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live From Madison Square Garden, fans everywhere are able to experience the sound and the glory of a performance on that famous stage by two of rock's greatest artists.
Peter A. from JENNINGS, FL Reviewed on 6/3/2009...
This is one amazing 2-CD set, a 40 year first reunion and true devotion of two great musicians still in prime shape, Winwood and Clapton pull together a remarkable and tasty song list opus and ode to the blues and 60's rock, with great covers of Traffic and Blind Faith hymns like "Presence of the Lord", "Dear Mr. Fantasy" or "Can't Find My Way Home", for starters, Hendrix' "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Chile", the classic "Georgia on My Mind" and Robert Johnson's "Rambling on my mind" too, all live in the Big Apple. And Winwood known by organ solo can really play Guitar too. Makes you wish you'd caught the concert and the moment, if not fly right back to the beginning of time. The set list tells it all, but even then, anyone covering this period and the heroic creativity of blues rock can't help but want this on DVD or CD. One can only hope other great revivals are in store, but this one is top notch 'satisfaction'. I may be overextending the praise, but we can say both songwriter musicians are truly worthy.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 05/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two discs 65 and 63 minutes each approximately. The sound is immediate yet warm,especially the vocals. The booklet has photographs of the band and song titles and that's it. The booklet omits the song "Low Down" on the track listings,but the listening order is as the jewel case lists them.
If anyone thinks that this is yet another release by yet more musicians trading on their past glories-think again. This is music that everyone has been waiting for for ages. It's powerful,good-time music that will please anyone who likes Clapton and/or Winwood. Its safe to assume that listeners are familiar with both Winwood and Clapton at this point. Winwood,from his teenage years,first came to prominence in the SPENCER DAVIS GROUP,then went on to form TRAFFIC,then BLIND FAITH (with Clapton),and then made several solo albums. Clapton,likewise,gained acclaim in the YARDBIRDS,then his stints with John Mayall's BLUESBREAKERS,CREAM,the previously mentioned BLIND FAITH,DEREK AND THE DOMINOS,and then he recorded many solo albums under his own name.
Why these two musicians waited this long to record together again is anyone's guess. Neither one needs the money,so there must be a better reason. Perhaps it's friendship over all these decades-coming up together in England's music scene,they surely must have formed some kind of bond. No matter,this music is a reaffirmation of much of their respective careers.
The band consists of Winwood,Clapton,Willie Weeks-bass,Chris Stainton-keyboards,and Ian Thomas-drums. There is also a horn section (uncredited) that help("Them Changes"),yet never get in the way. The compositions range from tried and true blues numbers ("Sleeping In the Ground","Double Trouble"),Robert Johnson ("Rambling On My Mind"),to J.J.Cale ("Cocaine","After Midnight"),to Hoagy Carmichael ("Georgia On My Mind"),to Hendrix ("Little Wing","Voodoo Chile"), to a number of tracks from Winwood's days with TRAFFIC,and a few Clapton tunes ("Presence of the Lord" and others he made famous)-together they weave a fiery concert setting that will make you wish that you were there.
Clapton's guitar is front and center on most tracks,and he plays like someone who has been given a second chance. Likewise,his vocals are very forceful and emotional. Of interest is the Robert Johnson tune,"Rambling On My Mind",where Clapton sings this solo,accompanied by his electro-acoustic guitar-a nice change of pace. Of course many tracks are used as jumping off points for jamming-something this band can do effortlessly,but here the entire group sound very together,playing as if this may be their last chance. Winwood's keyboards have that familiar bouncing sound to them,that in contrast with Clapton's guitar,is a real treat. His guitar playing is still fiery and alive. Together they weave in and out of each other,and I defy anyone to keep their body still when the fireworks get started. Its nice to hear these old chestnuts from the past reinvigorated by these masters (including the entire band) who take these songs and put some real life into them. From a pop sound (or as close as they ever came) to slow blues,this is the real deal. Clapton's vocals really shine on "Double Trouble",an old Otis Rush blues that shows his reverence for Rush. His vocals have that lived-in sound that elevates this tune to something else entirely. His guitar cries yet soars through this track,letting every doubter know that he can still feel and play the blues. Winwood's vocals are similarly aching and have that lived-in sound,which he proves over and over again on this set. If anything,his voice has deepened a bit,which gives his vocals an extra punch. It's interesting that Winwood started out imitating Ray Charles,and here he still retains a lot of Charles' sound and vocal inflections. Listeners will have their own favorites here,with a song selection that's designed for just that effect.
Anyone who likes Clapton from his DEREK AND THE DOMINOS days will find much to like here. These tracks have that old magic from days gone by. Its great to hear that these two masters still have that certain something that enables them to reach out and move listeners like they do here. This will be something that will be played over and over again by listeners,and every time something new will be heard.
Highs & Lows
M. White | Northeast - USA | 05/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a difficult CD to critique. On one hand, Eric's playing and Steve's singing are at levels now at ages 64 and 61 respectively, where they have matured like fine wines. Although always of strong voice, Winwood sings with a sophisitication and a sense of interpretation now that he's never had before. The richness in his voice is magnificent. And Clapton..... I can't believe the energy and the shear power in his vocals and in his playing. Some of his solos on this set are more prolific than in his Dominoes days over 35 Years ago. However, there are a couple of down sides to this CD. One, Clapton tends to overplay and go for the easy speed riff too many times in this set instead of really covering new ground as a still vital artist. Too many times Winwood is left to continously comp changes for Clapton's, in some cases, endless doodling. However, when Clapton is spot on like he is with readings of Hendrix classics Voodoo Chile and Little Wing, he is truly as good as he's ever been. Winwood is too often set in the background although his vocals are strong and his playing masterful. There are some additional treats, such as them playing the majority of the Blind Faith release together for the first time since 1970! All in all this is a fine effort that will make long-time fans smile at the resilience and passion of both of these artists, but a little more imaginative set list and a more equal staging of both of these icon's considerable talents would have been more appreciated. Still, give it four stars for the truly amazing performances on more than a few of these numbers and the power that both of these greats bring to the stage after more than 40 years in Rock."
Voodoo Chile and Buddy Miles
M. Grogan | Missouri | 05/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most reviews here mention VOODOO CHILE as a highlight of the show and a Hendrix tune. The real significance of this piece is that Winwood played the Hammond B3 on the original studio cut on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland.
Another event worth mentioning is that Buddy Miles who wrote Them Changes and was the drummer for Hendrix's Band of Gypsys died on the night of their second show 2/26. Miles got to hear them perform CHANGES over a cell phone during the first show 2/25. The final shows performance on 2/28 of CHANGES was dedicated to Miles. "
Two Masters Together Again!
Michael Gannon | Westchester County, NY | 06/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Blind Faith at MSG when they appeared there some 40 years ago and last year I had the opportunity to see the heart and soul of that group again! What great luck to witness these two masters at work. They sound better than ever. Steve's vocals, guitar and Hammond mastery was as wonderful as ever. Sharp and right on target! No unusual for him, but maybe he was further inspired being along side his long time friend and musical genius Eric Clapton. Eric's playing was sharp, lightning fast and as melodic as he has ever put out. And they were having fun and it shows on this recording. VooDoo Chile is to me the show stopper but there are no weaknesses here. 'Had To Cry Today', 'Pearly Queen', 'Mr Fantasy', 'Low Down' and 'Well Alright' also score huge. Every song was well-chosen and performed to the max. They were loud that night at MSG, but the recording is very well-balanced making it almost as enjoyable as being there. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! "
A MUST BUY FOR CLAPTON-BLIND FAITH/CREAM FANS
AH | USA | 07/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have the CD and DVD. The reason this recording and band works so well, on so many levels, is primarily because the drummer, bass player, and keyboard player play only what is needed and stay out of Clapton's and Winwood's way. They play crisp and clear and accurately, which makes all the difference. What a team of players on this recording-it just doesn't get any better than this. And the song selection is so strong. Clapton is at his best without any dopey backup guitarist(s)-save for George Terry or Winwood, of course. No dopey dancing backup singers, no horn players, just the essentials here. The band also tries to stay close to the original songs and I especially love the Blind Faith stuff like "Well Alright". "Can't Find My Way Home" sounds like a national anthem with the crowd chanting the words with Winwood in the background. Good stuff, and just incredible that the Blind Faith catalog sounds so cool this many years later. "Sea Of Joy" would have been interesting to include. It would have been nice if Ginger Baker had the ability to join in this endeavor but even he hasn't been able to play the way he used to, for a very long time now. But we love you, Ginger! Even the recent Cream reunion doesn't stack up to this-they waited too long to get together. Can you imagine what Cream would have been like in the 60's and 70's if Winwood had joined them and the group stayed together? That would have been a Supergroup, my friends. Winwood still has the outstanding vocals and musical prowness to excite and his vocals with Clapton work perfectly. Clapton is always outstanding. Clapton, on a bad day, is still better than everyone else on their best day (I like Dickey Betts too, when he played with the Allmans). I like the blues stuff the best; not really into the acoustic, or "Georgia" or Hendrix things. "Double Trouble" and "Sleeping In The Ground" and "Tell The Truth" give me the chills and are worth the price of admission alone. I know Layla has been played to death in previous concerts, but with this particular band-now that would have been an interesting song to include. How about "Same Old Blues" instead of boring disco "Forever Man"? And if only we could get Eric to use a Gibson guitar with a Marshall amp once in a while...do we need to take up a collection, Eric? Anyway, many thanks to Eric and Stevie for putting this together and reviving so much of the best old stuff! A treasure! Hope to see them do more in the future."