Over the weekend [lastfm]Eric Clapton[/lastfm]‘s annual Crossroads Guitar Festival took place in Bridgeview, Illinois, and never was a festival name more accurately titled than this one. Many of music history’s hottest guitar players performed, plus one none musician that rocked the stage, not with music, but with humor.
Festival video clips plus photos below!
Among the festival’s performers were guitar superstars [lastfm]Jeff Beck[/lastfm], [lastfm]B.B. King[/lastfm], [lastfm]Ronnie Wood[/lastfm], [lastfm]Johnny Lang[/lastfm], [lastfm]Robert Randolph[/lastfm], [lastfm]Billy Gibbons[/lastfm], [lastfm]John Mayer[/lastfm], [lastfm]Buddy Guy[/lastfm], [lastfm]Sheryl Crow[/lastfm], [lastfm]Steve Winwood[/lastfm], [lastfm]ZZ Top[/lastfm] and, of course, [lastfm]Eric Clapton[/lastfm].
But who was the man who entertained the audience with laughter? That would be none other than funny man Bill Murray, who hosted the event, and even channeled guitar heroes [lastfm]Jimi Hendrix[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Elvis Presley[/lastfm] on stage.
Murray introduced acts and joked with fans, saying: “Today only, beer counts as hydrated.”
[lastfm]Rolling Stones[/lastfm] guitarist [lastfm]Ronnie Wood[/lastfm] said of the festival’s spirit:
“We get attracted like bees around a honey pot. One guitarist melds another one, and the line increases and increases. All the guys who influenced people like me, Jeff and Eric are here. People like Buddy Guy and James Burton and B.B. King — they’re all here. It’s wonderful.”
In an era where new-music festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella — with their extensive marketing of sometimes over-produced, over-synthesized bands — garner so much attention, it’s great to see a festivals such as this one still live. [lastfm]Thom Yorke[/lastfm] once accurately claimed “anyone can play guitar,” but then again, not everyone can play it so well that their career lasts 40 plus years.
Video of [lastfm]Eric Clapton[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Jeff Beck[/lastfm] performing together on stage below.
Festival photos here.