County Jail Blues: Japan Tour 1993
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – October 21st, 1993
Disc 1 (54:26): Opening, Malted Milk, Terraplane Blues, How Long Blues, 32-20, Kidman Blues, County Jail Blues, Forty-Four, Blues Leave Me Alone, Tell Me Mama, White Room, Badge, Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2 (55:08): Stone Free, Circus Left Town, Tears In Heaven, Crossroads, Tearing Us Apart, Groaning The Blues, Cocaine, Ain’t Nobody’s Business, Layla
County Jail Blues documents the first Budokan show on Eric Clapton’s Japan Tour in 1993. Tricone utilize a new tape source that’s never been out before. The opening is a bit rough, especially at the beginning of “Terraplane Blues,” but clears up nicely and is quite enjoyable for the rest of the show.
Unlike the two Osaka shows also released by Tricone at the same time, this is the first time this show has been available on a silver pressed title. The existing tape had never been release due to its mediocre sound quality.
The set and performance are identical to the others. The first third of the show is devoted to blues covers running in rough chronological order. A preview of the Nothing But The Blues shows in 1994 and 1995, Clapton offers a clinic of blues styles and genres. The first two songs are solo acoustic Robert Johnson covers (played in the same spine-tingling style as the master).
Big Jim Maceo’s piano driven Chicago urban blues follow with “How Long,” “32-20” and “Kidman Blues.” Clapton and the band follow with the abrasive “Forty-Four,” a fun version of “Blues Leave Me Alone” and a great performance of “Tell Me Mama.”
The second third of the show starts off with two Cream numbers, “White Room” (featuring Clapton on out-of-control wah-wah pedals in the end) and “Badge.” The Slowhand ballad “Wonderful Tonight” follows along with the Hendrix cover “Stone Free” (which draws some of the biggest ovations in all these concerts).
He follows with a two song Unplugged set with the unreleased “Circus Left Town” and the popular “Tears In Heaven.”
Clapton continues with the new rock arrangement of “Crossroads” featuring a blaring horn section and the nod to the eighties with “Tearing Us Apart,” the slow Otis Rush cover “Groaning The Blues” and ending with “Cocaine.” The encores are “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and a full electric arrangement of “Layla.”
The artwork is almost identical to the other five titles Tricone has released the past couple months from this tour. Given the identical setlists and sound quality, these really appeal to the obsessive Eric Clapton collector and it may have been better if these were included in a big six disc set such as has been released by Beano in the past. County Jail Blues is a very good release worth having although nothing really makes it stand out from the others.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)