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© Rob Grabowski ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
This swampy reading of Lil’ Son Jackson’s blues chestnut starts so abruptly, you’ll feel as though you opened a door and walked in on a band in mid-jam. But within seconds, you’re spellbound, put into a trance.
Over a hypnotic beat that never loses its momentum, Clapton and Doyle Bramhall II lock guitar horns, both players plucking spare chords and snaky little lead lines with the right amount of dirt dialed up on their amps. Clapton’s singing is ghostly - it’s as if he’s a troubled yet wisened spirit in the dark - and it's punctuated by Walt Richmond’s Hammond organ swells, which seem to pop up with the randomness of a groundhog in a field.
As a mood piece, Travelin’ Alone is something of a revelation in that it manages to be unnerving, totally captivating and, ultimately, a balm to heal one’s soul.