First and foremost, this is pretty great stuff I gotta say. But it is also kind of bittersweet. Allow me to explain...
The first time I saw Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood play together was on their — prior to now — one and only tour together as the massively hyped "supergroup" Blind Faith back in 1969. Back then, the term "supergroup" was in fact pretty much invented for them — well for them, and for Crosby Stills & Nash I guess.
The idea was to take the best parts of their previous megabands — in this case it was Cream and Traffic — and put them together with the idea of selling zillions and zillions of records.
The night I saw Blind Faith in 1969 (at just 13 years old I might add) at the H.I.C. Arena in Hawaii — on what I'm pretty sure was their last performance together as a group — the tension between them was obvious. By this point, the much ballyhooed "supergroup" had already broken up, and were simply playing out the commitments of their lone megatour.
But what was also quite obvious was the undeniable chemistry between Clapton and Winwood in particular.
Drummer Ginger Baker may have already been imagining the possibilities of his short-lived jazz megagroup Airforce, and who knows what bassist Rick Grech was thinking.
But Clapton and Winwood — despite the pressures I'm quite sure both were feeling — were obviously meant to play together. Both obviously went on to far bigger and better things over the course of time. But in the meantime, one could only imagine the possibilities of what could have been.
On this DVD, those possibilities are realized, even if only for the moment. Recorded during what was meant to be a one-off series of three concerts following a brief reunion at Clapton's 2007 Crossroads Festival, what becomes apparent is that the same chemistry between these two incredible musicians is not only still there, but that they really ought to to consider a longer term arrangement.
Seriously. These guys belong together.
From the get-go on this DVD, when the opening notes of "Had To Cry Today" kick things off, you can immediately see and hear it. Clapton and Winwood trade off the guitar solos here like it was 1969 all over again.