If I had to guess, YouTube would be responsible for the first time I heard this somewhat obscure Eric Clapton song called “Slow Down Linda.” It was originally released on his 1983 album “Money and Cigarettes.” I can’t tell you how many times I looked at the album cover in my local record shop and wondered what was happening there…it’s the one with the melting electric guitar on an ironing board while Clapton is smoking a cigarette.
If I had to describe the song itself, the word(s) that pop to mind might be boogie-woogie, rockabilly, or even country-rock. Of course, the presence of guitarist Albert Lee might be reason enough for that. I don’t think “Slow Down Linda” is what I would call musically complicated or sophisticated, but I think it works. Maybe that’s the beauty of it and/or why I like it?
If you haven’t heard of Albert Lee, it’s unusual to see him without his Einstein-esque-white-gray hair so consider this video a visual anomaly. (One website I found had Albert Lee at the #1 spot for Clapton’s best/favorite guitarists.)
Getting back to Clapton, I think this song is a good example of how varied his musical career has been. E.C. is revered among blues guitar players, but he has had plenty of well-known songs which don’t really fall into the blues category…”Tears in Heaven”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, “Wonderful Tonight”, etc. I think “Slow Down Linda” is a bit more like the country-rock of say “Lay Down Sally.” Besides, it has a good beat and is apparently easy to dance to.
Somewhere along the way, I remember Clapton talking about how The Band’s “Music from Big Pink” changed his life. I think this is pretty good example of that. Blues purists might write this song off as insignificant or a throwaway, but I say it’s just rock and roll.
In college, I remember giving this acquaintance of mine a ride into town and I had Eric Clapton’s Time Pieces Volume One playing in the cassette deck. When Clapton’s version of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” started playing, he wasn’t really into it. It’s pretty obvious Clapton must have a spiritual side. I don’t know where the line “I’ve got more ashes than Wednesday” originated, but I think it’s a good one.
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!