All-star guitarists coming to Dallas for benefit show
10:27 AM CST on Friday, February 27, 2004
By THOR CHRISTENSEN / The Dallas Morning News
British guitar god Eric Clapton has picked the Cotton Bowl in Dallas to host the Crossroads Guitar Festival, his one-of-a-kind summit of six-string deities.
Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, B.B. King and dozens of others will join Mr. Clapton onstage for the unique June 6 event, which will benefit Crossroads Centre Antigua, a drug and alcohol treatment facility founded by Mr. Clapton.
The show promises to be a who's who of guitar aces, including such blues legends as Buddy Guy and Otis Rush; rock players like Steve Vai, Joe Walsh and Brian May (of Queen); and jazz-rock musicians Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton.
"I love Dallas – it's a great place for music," Mr. Clapton said Thursday in a prepared statement. "Just about all my American tours have started there."
That's not the only tie he has to the city. In March, he's releasing Me and Mr. Johnson, a tribute CD made up of songs Robert Johnson recorded in Dallas and San Antonio in the 1930s. As a member of Cream, Mr. Clapton scored a huge hit in 1969 with Mr. Johnson's "Crossroads."
Also performing at the Cotton Bowl concert will be Texas musicians Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II and Eric Johnson. Others on the lineup are Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, former Howlin' Wolf/Muddy Waters guitarist Hubert Sumlin, J.J. Cale, Sonny Landreth, mandolinist Dan Tyminski and pedal-steel wiz Robert Randolph.
Three house bands will back up the players: Mr. Clapton's group, Mr. Vaughan's group and the '60s soul legends Booker T. & the MG's.
The all-star concert will end a weekend full of guitar events at Fair Park. On Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, the festival will feature clinics and exhibits in the Centennial Building, which is being dubbed the "Guitar Center Village." A host of as-yet-unnamed acts will play there on three stages Saturday.
One exhibit will boast dozens of guitars owned by Mr. Clapton, Pete Townshend and others that will be auctioned off June 24 in New York. Proceeds from the sale will also benefit the Crossroads Centre, which Mr. Clapton started in 1997 after going through his own battles with drugs and alcohol.
Tickets to each day of the festival will be sold separately through Ticketmaster starting March 13. Prices are $15 for Friday, $30 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday.