The Music of Cream, featuring the pedigree of hallowed ‘60s trio Cream, is hitting the road in 2020 with a new show and lineup. The North American outing will honor the legendary band’s landmark album Disraeli Gears, performed in its entirety, followed by Clapton Classics including hits such as “Cocaine,” “Layla” “Crossroads,” and “Wonderful Tonight”along with other Cream hits and rarities. The Music of Cream stops locally in Chicago on Sunday, April 26 at Park West; tickets are on sale now.
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The Music Of Cream continues to feature family members Kofi Baker (son of Ginger Baker) on drums and Will Johns (Eric Clapton’s nephew and son of Zeppelin/Stones engineer Andy Johns) on guitar and vocals. The two will unite with master musicians Sean McNabb and Chris Shutters to deliver a concert that is second to none. Along with the legendary music, the show features storytelling, photographs and integrated videos, many of which have not been seen before. This unique project first launched in 2017 with a handful of concerts celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cream in Australia and New Zealand. The show was so well-received, The Music of Cream has now been seen over one hundred times by tens of thousands of fans across North America and the U.K. with many shows selling out. And with the recent passing of Ginger Baker, The Music of Cream looks forward to sharing Cream’s incomparable music with fans, new and old, to keep the trio’s legacy alive.
“To follow our 50th Anniversary Tour, it was a no-brainer to go out and celebrate Disraeli Gears in its entirety,” shares Kofi Baker. “There are songs that are quite different, they wanted to challenge everything! And from a personal point of view, it gives me the opportunity to perform another song my dad wrote, called ‘Blue Condition,’ that I really like. I also loved the artwork for the album; my sister and I used to laugh because we said you could see up my dad’s nose. Happy memories that we can bring to the stage.”
“Why Disraeli Gears? Well, that’s easy for me,” says Will Johns. “It was the birth of the wah-wah pedal and you gotta love the wah-wah! That we can interpret such groundbreaking music and continue to tell Cream’s story is as exciting for us as we know it was for the band when they recorded it all those years ago. Like my Uncle, I am a blues man through and through and on this record, there’s some fantastic interpretations of this genre, the likes of ‘Lawdy Mama’ and ‘Outside Woman Blues,’ so it doesn’t get better than that!”
With primal riffs, soaring operatic choruses, poetry, fashion and theatre rolled into one, Disraeli Gears defined the era in which it was written. The super-group’s second studio album, released November 1967, is often considered Cream’s crowning achievement. Disraeli Gears, featuring the singles “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Strange Brew,” was their American breakthrough reaching #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and ultimately becoming a platinum-seller in the U.S. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and Rolling Stone included Disraeli Gears in their list of the Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time saying, “Cream’s sharpest, most linear album focused its instrumental explorations into colorful pop songs.” In addition to critical acclaim over the decades, the original band members themselves praised their work on Disraeli Gears. Ginger Baker noted, “You can’t escape the fact we were having such fun playing with each other,” while Jack Bruce said, “This was a whole new beginning for the band and I loved that time very much,” and Eric Clapton added, “We had found ourselves…it was a pivotal point in the history of popular music.”