We’ve talked here before about the Project Blues Review fundraiser that takes place each summer in Columbus, Ohio, which has provided a few of the most memorable shows we’ve had the pleasure of seeing, first, a 2014 Tribute to Muddy Waters that featured John Primer, Bob Stroger, Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore, and David Maxwell, among others, all on one stage, and then, in 2017, an all-night set from guitarist Ronnie Earl and his band.
We weren’t able to make the 2018 edition of the show this past weekend, but those who did were treated to another great night of blues that again included regulars such as Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Bob Margolin, Sean Carney, and the Texas Horns, along with headliner Jimmie Vaughan, who was joined for a few songs by another guitarist you may have heard of who happens to own a home near Columbus: Eric Clapton.
According to the Where’s Eric! Eric Clapton Fan Club Magazine and other accounts, Clapton joined Vaughan, Mike Flanigin (organ), and George Rains (drums) (together billed as the Jimmie Vaughan Trio) for three or four songs at the start of the band’s headlining set (thanks to DustyBlues Photography for the photos!), including Otis Smokey Smothers’ “Come On Rock Little Girl”, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s “Dirty Work At The Crossroads” and Guitar Jr. (Lonnie Brooks)’s “Roll, Roll, Roll”. It must’ve been like Christmas in August for those in attendance, but it looks like those of us who missed it are going to have to wait until October for our Christmas gift from Clapton, who also announced this weekend that his next album, Happy Xmas (Oct. 12), will be of the holiday variety.
Organizers report that this year’s Project Blues Review was also a huge success on the fundraising side. With these kinds of line-ups and surprise appearances, it’s pretty clear that these guys are doing a whole lot more and deeper than “Pretending” and are quickly making Project Blues Review an event serious blues fans just can’t afford to miss!