The Road to Escondido

Studio Album by released in 2006
The Road to Escondido's tracklist:
Danger
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Heads in Georgia
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Missing Person
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When This War Is Over
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Sporting Life Blues
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Dead End Road
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It's Easy
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Hard to Thrill
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Anyway the Wind Blows
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Three Little Girls
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Don't Cry Sister
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Last Will and Testament
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Who Am I Telling You?
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Ride the River
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The Road to Escondido review

J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton – partners for life

A composer seven years old than him, an Oklahoma native, J.J. Cale, has always influenced Eric Clapton’s music. If Clapton is considered one of the leading veterans of various styles, country, blues and hard rock inclusive, J.J. Cale is mostly ascribed to Tulsa sound, which is mainly connected with his place of birth. The authors of an enormous number of albums have often performed together and during one of such occasions, at a three day festival in Dallas, Texas, held in 2004, Clapton asked Cale to become a producer of his new album, and gradually the musicians started recording together. The result of this tandem’s work is a splendid laid-back album The Road To Escondido. J.J. Cale has written eleven out of fourteen songs on it, but it is absolutely impossible to state that either him or Eric Clapton dominates on the record. The Road To Escondido has been created with the participation of Cale’s band of musicians and is mostly a collection of calm songs, dedicated to late Billy Preston, whose last recordings are also present on it. The guitar playing of both artists’ remains as perfect as before and often blends into one whole unit proving that these two are really partners for life.

The Road To Escondido is filled with an elusive joy

In Spanish escondido means ‘hidden’, and besides, it is the name of a town in California. Thus the title The Road To Escondido is a symbolic representation of something vague and mysterious that is expecting all of us ahead. This creates a certain mood that is carried throughout the album, in many ways due to J.J. Cale’s legendary ability to deliver a lot through simplest notes combinations. Opener Danger is remarkable for a very pleasant rhythm and great guitar solos and finds Clapton singing by himself, while track Heads In Georgia is a slower duet refined with tubes and a bluesy accompaniment. Songs like Missing Person and When This War Is Over are great examples of how two musicians can catch the mood of each other and sing serious topics in a relaxed manner, and Sporting Life Blues, a classy jazz and blues composition, is one of the strongest vocalic moments on the album. John Mayer’s cameo with his unique guitar playing on Hard To Thrill is going to become a pleasant surprise to many of his fans, and the rhythm of the mid-tempo song Anyway The Wind Blows is going to make you tap it with your foot. On the delicate composition Three Little Girls and a bluesy Don't Cry Sister Eric Clapton demonstrates the power of his vocals, and the closer Ride The River is full of interesting images and the spirit of adventure. The Road To Escondido is filled with some elusive joy for its creators really easy understand each other and are both doing what they like best of all.

A real embodiment of friendship

The creative work of both Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale has been often understated. Yet none of them has ever fallen in despair and always remained optimistic enjoying the loyality of the fans. The musicians know what they have achieved better than anyone and are full of dignity and restraint. The Road To Escondido has become a real embodiment of their friendship and due to the commonness of the artists’ views at music the record is characterised with remarkable harmonies and peace. Encouraging each other on every track, the musicians have found a common key adding some features to their playing which have never been heard before. From the very beginning till the end album The Road To Escondido is a homogeneous flow of amazingly warm songs, offering a lot of feelings by means of little words. Now that the long time dream of both the musicians and, moreover, their fans has come true, we can only be glad for them. It is as clear as a day that J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton are both full of desire and energy to continue creating, besides, new solo albums of theirs are going to be unleashed in the nearest future. Nobody knows whether such collaboration will ever take place again, but one can state for sure that after creating The Road To Escondido these two most talented men have grown even dearer to each other.