The Music of Cream Showcases The Hall of Fame Power Trio’s Prodigious Open-Ended Sound (SHOW REVIEW)

In 2012, the offspring of Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce actually did shows as “Sons Of Cream” with Godfrey Townshend on guitar. This reviewer didn’t see them live,  But having attended one of Cream’s reunion gigs Madison Square Garden in 2005, one couldn’t imagine a band trying to replicate their sound. The music is so open-ended that it requires the ability to jam fluidly rather than replicate the sound of three young musical prodigies.

As Malcolm Bruce revealed a few weeks back, he and Kofi Baker are more than aware of their predicament and this time have regrouped at The Music of Cream. This time around, they’ve brought Will Johns, whose mom is the sister of Pattie “Layla” Boyd. This makes him the nephew of George Harrison, Mick Fleetwood, and of course Eric Clapton. But Johns is an accomplished guitarist in his own right, as was evident on October, 17th at the Paramount in Huntington, NY.

Bruce and Baker often locked on jams in “Outside Woman Blues,” “Politician,” and “Badge,” while Johns not only showed off his licks, but looked to be having a ton of fun onstage as well. He would often lock in with an audience member and at one point, he basically performed a solo for a kid sitting alone in the balcony.

Bruce also brought some lightness to the heavy music when he introduced “Sleepy Time Time” as having been the first song written for Cream and by his mother no less. Throughout the show, photos of the band as children were projected behind him. Bruce’s bass skills would have made his late father proud and he did an admirable job covering his vocals as well. His version of “Born Under A Bad Sign” featured the more exploratory jamming that marked the second set.

Not to be outdone, Kofi Baker, who has the wild hair and painted drum kit of his father, led the group through “Pressed Rat and Warthog,” which had some nice guitar fills as well. The song, like “SWALBR,” may have some silly vocals but the band played it dead serious.  “White Room” was one of the inevitable choices but served as a perfect example of what this band can do and they took it well beyond the framework of the song. Of course “Strange Brew,” “Sittin’ On Top Of The World,” and “Sunshine Of Your Love” were all played too. But this band does a great job of not only paying tribute to the music but “keeping it alive,” as Bruce said. Before “Crossroads,” Johns recalled asking “Uncle Eric” how he started the song: after showing him, Johns asked how to play the rest.

“That,” Clapton replied, “is up to you to find out.”

Don’t miss a chance to see these guys onstage as they continue to do just that.

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