Cream revival hits Capitol Arts Center

Griffin Fletcher

Over 50 years ago, rock supergroup Cream released “Disraeli Gears,” a decade-defining album featuring the legendary hit “Sunshine of Your Love.”

Originally comprised of drummer Ginger Baker, bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton, Cream is receiving a rebirth of sorts named The Music of Cream. Led by Kofi Baker and Malcolm Bruce, Ginger and Jack’s respective sons, and Will Johns Clapton’s nephew, The Music of Cream is currently touring the United States “to pay tribute to Cream’s legendary four-album reign over the psychedelic frontier of the late 1960s,” according to the band’s website.

Johns, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, said he feels fortunate to do just that.

“I just feel like I’m the luckiest boy in the whole world,” Johns said. “We’re just having a great old time.”

First joining forces to perform as The Music of Cream during 2017 in New Zealand and Australia, the band played more than 40 shows in North America and the United Kingdom throughout 2018, according to a press release from the band promoting its current statewide tour, “The Music of Cream: 50th Anniversary World Tour.” The tour kicked off on March 22 on the East Coast and is scheduled to end April 20 in Texas.

All accomplished musicians in their own right, Johns said he and his bandmates decided to tour and perform as The Music of Cream to call attention to the music that made it all possible.

“The music is timeless,” Johns said about Cream’s discography, which spans from 1966-69. “There’s some real substance to it.”

Though The Music of Cream features direct descendants of the original band, Johns said it will abstain from playing its predecessors’ hits note for note, adding that “no two shows are the same.”

“We like to think we put on our own stamp,” Johns said. “We’re very much in the moment.”

Johns added that he believes watching the band perform puts its vision into perspective. He said he believes that has been the case since the beginning of The Music of Cream.

“By the end of the show, they know exactly who we are and what we’re trying to do,” Johns said.

Malcolm, who plays bass and sings for the band, said he values an ability to improvise on even Cream’s most renowned successes, according to the press release.

“The uniqueness of the approach to Cream’s music means that I learn and grow every night we play,” Malcolm said in the press release. “There is always something new to be discovered in the music: tempo, feel, groove, notes, dynamics, inflection. It is truly wonderful to be able to improvise on stage.”

Kofi said his and his bandmates’ familial ties to Cream’s music are especially rewarding, according to the press release. He said he believes the reactions The Music of Cream has received throughout its current run are enough to keep the band’s purpose in sight, as well.

“I really enjoyed playing with Will and Malcolm as we share a bond over this music that our fathers created,” Kofi said in the press release. “And meeting the fans after the shows and hearing their thoughts really validated and inspired me to keep playing this music.”

On Saturday, The Music of Cream will make a stop in Bowling Green at the Capitol Arts Center to continue its tour. The show is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available online at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center website, by phone call at SKyPAC or at the Capitol on April 6 two hours before the show starts.

Though he’s toured across the world, Johns said he believes Bowling Green sounds like a nice place to be. He said he looks forward to the show and the opportunity it promises.

“It’s a real privilege and an honor to be able to see somewhere like Bowling Green, Kentucky,” Johns said. “It’s just perfect.”

Reporter Griffin Fletcher can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].