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Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, John Mayer meet at the Crossroads

on February 11, 2010, 12:10pm

Eric Clapton likes watching people play guitar, and that’s why he’s brought back his Crossroads Guitar Festival for a third and final run. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the guitar virtuoso announced he’ll hold the festival, which showcases his hand-picked guitarists for a day, June 26, 2010 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

The festival was last held in 2007, also at Toyota Park, and originally for three days in 2004 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Both editions sold out, and sold multi-platinum DVD’s.

Clapton told Rolling Stone, “It’s a selfish thing. I can go to one place and hear all of my favorite musicians in one day.” Surely not that selfish, as the 2010 edition of the festival benefits the Crossroads Centre, the drug rehab facility in Antigua founded by Clapton.

Many of the 20+ performers Clapton has booked are repeats from the first two festivals, including B.B. King, ZZ Top, current tourmate Jeff Beck, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Robert Randolph and slide guitar hero Sonny Landreth. There are some notable new choices, however: the Allman Brothers Band, blues singer/guitarist Keb’ Mo’ and Brazilian bossa nova legend João Gilberto, a booking as rare to American audiences as you’ll find at a 2010 festival.

Not surprisingly, Clapton’s excited about that one, too: “The whole thing was an excuse for getting him out of Brazil,” he told Rolling Stone. Don’t be surprised about his reverence for Gilberto, either. “A festival about guitar doesn’t have to be all heavy metal or all rock,” he said. “It would probably surprise a lot of people who don’t play that someone like me or Derek Trucks [of the Allmans] can admire and enjoy someone like Gilberto.”

Expect to see some collaborations, per the website. Expect another great DVD, also, per common sense.

This will be your last chance to hit up one of these, by the way. Clapton is quoted in the Rolling Stone interview as saying, “I’ve convinced the business guys this is the last one.” He added, “I’ve kind of said, ‘We’ll do three.’ I like three. I’m a ‘three’ guy.” Also notice this festival has been held every third year. He ain’t kidding. This might be the year to go though — the third time is, in fact, a charm, right?

Tickets are $100 for the event, which goes on sale February 20th on Ticketmaster, with a fan club pre-sale the day before.

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