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Stefan at the Crossroads

While I was in Tasmania I received an e-mail from Eric Clapton asking if I’d like to perform at his Crossroads Festival.It had been over forty years since I had seen Eric. I first met him when we were both playing on a Murray The K Rock N’ Roll show that was held at the Paramount Theatre for ten days. Four shows a day and each group got to play one number.When I arrived in London two months later the only two people I knew there were Eric and Ginger Baker. We hung out together playing guitar and talking shop.
So to get together again sounded like fun, although I did feel somewhat intimidated being on a show which featured so many top electric guitarists.I was asked to play a few solos and two duets with Keb’ Mo’ plus a 40 minute workshop at the Ernie Ball Stage in the Guitar Village.Keb’ I knew from a NAMM show and loved his voice and musical feel.
Also on the bill was Bert Jansch who I hadn’t seen for at least 10 years.Pino Daniele from Italy was another artist I wanted to meet. I had listened to his music while living in Italy and loved his voice, songs and guitar playing.Also there was Earl Klugh whose music I have followed over the years. Robert Randolph and his band was another group I wanted to hear. Then of course there were the electric blues icons.
It was hot, hot, hot at the Toyota Stadium. Friday was the best day. It was rehearsals from 10am until 11pm. Jo came with me and we also had two of our children and my grandson Noah. Plus friends with their children. It was a great weekend of bonding.Keb’ and I rehearsed Mississippi Blues and Roll and Tumble Blues in our dressing room area. We tried a few different approaches and after an hour or so we had worked out our duet parts. Thank goodness for the AC in the artists’ dressing room area.We also had the refuge of the Fender Tent which featured a 12x20 foot screen that projected the World Cup games. Eric, David (my son), Noah (my grandson) and I watched the USA as they struggled to win but even with all our yelling they ended up losing.
The “acoustic” musicians, Bert, Keb’ Mo’ and myself had our sound check after all the bands had completed theirs. It was well after 10pm and we could only check the monitor levels and not the complete system.Friday and Saturday were intense yet so very enjoyable. What can beat hanging with old friends, your children and musicians whom you always wanted to hear?
Friday's rehearsal and Noah taking photos.Bill Murray was a great MC. Funny on and off stage. A guitar nerd!