Eric Clapton is returning with his first album since 2010, and he’s doing so on an indie label for the first time in his solo career. Clapton’s Old Sock will be released by on his own Bushbranch label, distributed through Surfdog Records, on March 12. (That deal is just for the US and Canada; in the rest of the world, it will be distributed by Polydor).

The album is mostly covers (including “Born To Lose,” “Further On Down The Road,” “Goodnight Irene”) with a couple of new songs (“Every Little Thing,” “Gotta Get Over”).  Clapton’s band on the album includes Steve Gadd on drums, Willie Weeks on bass and Chris Stainton on keyboards, and a few guests join in: Paul McCartney plays bass and sings on “All Of Me,” Steve Winwood plays organ on “Still Got The Blues” and JJ Cale sings backing vocals and plays guitar on “Angel” and Chaka Khan sings backing vocals on “Get On Over.”

Clapton was signed to Warner Bros. from 1983′s Money and Cigarettes up until recently. Surfdog Records has played home to Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Brian Setzer and Glen Campbell over the years.

Clapton has a busy spring ahead, as he’ll hit the road for a month-long tour of the US, which will end with his Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12 and 13 at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Additionally, Clapton’s most successful album to date – 1977′s Slowhand – was reissued in December for its 35th anniversary with new/unreleased material from the guitarist.

Brian Ives and Jillian Mapes, 

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