The first time he met Eric Clapton, Jerry Douglas was convinced a crew
member was playing a joke following one of Alison Krauss’s concerts in
“We did the show and got back to the dressing room, and the road manager said, ‘Well, do you want me
to bring Eric Clapton back down?’” Douglas recalls. “We were like, ‘Yeah, sure, bring him on back, Yeah, go ahead.’
I heard this British accent in the hallway, and I went, ‘Uh, oh. It really is him.’”
Fortunately, he and his
bandmates didn’t embarrass themselves, and since that meeting more than a decade ago, Douglas has performed at Clapton’s Crossroads
Guitar Festival and become friends with the rock-blues icon.
Clapton is just one of several special guests on Douglas’
latest album, Traveler. Having recorded and toured for years with Krauss and Union Station, her participation in the
project isn’t surprising.