Monday, November 9, 2009

Eric Clapton: Outside Woman Blues

Today’s cover tune is actually a semi-cover of a cover: Eric Clapton is doing an acoustic version that was written and originally recorded in 1929 by Blind Joe Reynolds. It is also a semi-cover, as Clapton played and sang on the original cover recorded by Cream in 1967. It was one of those rare occasions where Cream's vocals weren't handled by Jack Bruce.

Despite the misogynist lyrics (hey it’s a blues cover recorded originally by a known womanizer), this is one of my favorite tunes on “Disraeli Gears.” The album contains several different motifs that run from the sublime – “We’re Going Wrong,” to the rocking “Swlabr,” to the R&B influenced “Strange Brew,” to the ridiculous – “Mother’s Lament.” It truly has something for everyone. I featured “Tales of Brave Ulysses” from this same LP on Saturday and had run across this version in the process of doing my research for that post.

I love the Clapton’s acoustic guitar on this. I attempted to learn this song about two months ago when I was discovering all of the "Disraeli Gears" cuts on YouTube.  The tablature online differs from what Clapton does on this song. The accompaniment lick (B – C# - E) in the tab has it starting on the low E string at the 7th fret – with the E7#9 chord at the 7th fret region – makes the transition from the chord to single lines much easier to play from where Clapton actually starts the lick (2nd fret of the A string). The lower position, although the same notes, actually sounds better with the open grace notes that can be added. What can I say, he is Clapton.

Even the tab’s lead sheet is different – placing the lead licks all up at the 12th fret. On this video, Clapton eventually gets to the 12th fret, but the bulk of it he is playing between the 5th and 7th frets. Clapton makes it look so easy, but that is the beauty of his playing. Although it looks and sounds simple, it isn’t. His fluidity, string bends, and overall tone make him the guitar great that he is.

Cream “Outside Woman Blues”

No comments:

Post a Comment