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A proven hitmaker as a guitar god, balladeer, and rocker, Eric Clapton plays best when he plays the blues. But the operative word is “plays,” not “sings.” In the mode of his mentor John Mayall, Clapton approached this project—a collection of classic blues by a variety of masters who influenced him—with reverence, and it’s reverence that gets in his way as he establishes firmly that no matter how badly a blue man wants to sing the whites, he is better off not. Clapton’s fingers strike sparks, but when he opens his mouth, no amount of groaning and growling can disguise the fact that, like Mayall, he sounds like Kermit the Frog impersonating Muddy Waters.