Some of the greatest living guitar players have performed at Eric Clapton‘s not-quite-annual Crossroads Guitar Festival. The show, which Clapton hosted in 2004, 2007 and 2010, raises funds for The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by Clapton for chemically dependent people.  Today (November 19), Clapton announced that he’s bringing the festival to New York’s Madison Square Garden on April 12 and 13, 2013, with a lineup that includes blues legends B.B. King and Buddy Guy, classic rock icons Clapton, Jeff Beck and The Allman Brothers Band, country stars Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban and young guns including John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. 

Not just a concert with an incredible lineup, the Crossroads shows are known for on-stage collaborations between legendary six-stringers. Buddy Guy and Ron Wood have jammed together, Clapton reunited with his former Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood, and Yardbirds alumni Clapton and Beck shared the stage as well. The 2010 festival is generally credited as being a pivotal point in the career of up-and-coming guitar ace Gary Clark Jr. who wowed the audience with his performance of “Bright Lights, Big City.” 

In other Clapton news, in March of 2013 he’s kicking off a month-long U.S. tour (which will end with the Crossroads Guitar Festival). His backing band will feature familiar faces including Doyle Bramhall II on guitar, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums and Chris Stainton on keyboards.  Paul Carrack, formerly of Squeeze, Ace and Mike & The Mechanics, is joining the backing band on organ and backing vocals.

For more information about the Crossroads Centre, go to their official website. Advance sales for the Crossroads Guitar Festival begin on November 26, with tickets going on sale to the general public on November 30. Tickets for Clapton’s tour also go on sale on November 30. Check his website for more details. 

Brian Ives, CBS Local 


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