See Eric Clapton joined by Stevie Wonder, Joe Bonamassa pays tribute to Jeff Beck while Gales, Fish and Kingfish unite at Crossroads Guitar Festival

Eric Gales, Samantha Fish and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram perform onstage during Day 1 of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival at Arena on September 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Crossroads Guitar Festival)

Few guitarists can take on Jeff Beck's Cause We've Ended As Lovers and come out unscathed, but Joe Bonamassa and John McLaughlin are definitely in the elite group. "My initials are JB," said Joe introducing the song/ "We're gonna pay tribute to the man himself right now – the original, the best ever JB." 

And they did him proud, with the consistently excellent Josh Smith providing rhythm, as you can see below thanks to footage captured by Youtuber frenchamerican.  

Stevie Wonder penned that song for Beck, and that link continued when Clapton took the stage; he invited Stevie out to provide keys for Crossroads to a rapturous reception. Footage below was captured by Michael Varney. 

Clapton also played an acoustic segment on the Sunday night (24 September) which you can see below.  

He played an unbeatable trio of songs from his MTV Unplugged recording for the intimate performance with Jimmy Knox cover Nobody Knows You When You're Down At Out, Layla and Tears In Heaven.  

Slowhand returned for Calros Sanata's festival-closing set to guest on Peter Green's minor blues classic Black Magic Woman – again captured by YouTuber Mike Varney – before a rendition of The Doors' Roadhouse Blues. 

For the first song, Carlos Sanatana spent nearly the whole performance with his back to the audience, seemingly directing his band. 

Eric Gales, Samantha Fish and Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram traded blazing blues licks on Freddie King's Going Down on the Saturday on the festival (23 September). Mr Gales stole the show for style with that gold shirt too. 

That wasn't even Fish and Gales' only duet of the weekend –  the next day they played Black Wind Howlin' together. 

Jimmie Vaughan also joined with Gary Clark Jr for a great tribute to SRV with a performance of Texas Flood for the first night of the festival on Saturday 23 September. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.