JJ Cale songs are objects of beauty to be admired, but not from a distance - and Eric Clapton, who has, since the early '70s, made definitive recordings of several Cale compositions (After Midnight, Cocaine, for starters) knows how to get inside them like nobody’s business.
River Runs Deep is a slow blues burner from 1971, and with Clapton and Cale trading both vocals and guitar licks, backed by the London Session Orchestra, we have yet another superlative rendition.
Clapton turns in an arresting mid-song guitar solo, starting with biting top string bends and ending with groaning bass notes. But the real trip is the end run, which features leisurely paced and carefully phrased backwards guitar lines. This is a track to lose yourself in. Careful, though: you might never want to come back.