Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute to Cream
by Kevin Wierzbicki
Cream --- Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker --- was one of the heaviest bands of its day so it might come as a surprise to some that their music sounds just as awesome, just in a different way, when performed acoustically. This tribute holds 15 tracks performed by a cornucopia of stars who knew the band or were inspired by the band and there's a more direct connection to Cream as well as appearing are Malcolm Bruce, son of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown who co-wrote many Cream songs with Jack. Perhaps most notable is that late Cream drummer Ginger Baker appears on four songs, most of which are among Cream's most popular: "Sunshine of Your Love" where Joe Bonamassa and the late Bernie Marsden team up on vocals and acoustic guitar, "Crossroads," again with Bonamassa and Marsden on guitars but just Marsden on vocals, "Tales of Brave Ulysses" with Nathan James on vocals and inspired sax playing from Pee Wee Ellis and trumpet by Henry Lowther, and the lesser-known "Sweet Wine" featuring James, Ellis, Malcom Bruce, Marsden, Lowther and second guitarist Mo Nazam. Other notable cuts are "I Feel Free" with Deborah Bonham on vocals, "White Room" with Brown on vocals, a string section and Clem Clempson (Humble Pie) and Malcolm Bruce on guitars, a super bluesy take on "Spoonful" with Bobby Rush on vocals and blues harp, "Badge" again with Bonham on vocals and the Albert King-associated "Born Under a Bad Sign" that's powered by the instantly recognizable voice of former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. These songs meant and continue to mean so much to so many and these interpretations will surely please the truest of Cream fans.