Eric Clapton has announced a fall U.S. mini-tour, with five arena dates booked for September. The trek will take in stops in Pittsburgh, Toronto, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Denver. Ticket presales begin today (March 28th) at 10 a.m. local time with the public onsale starting March 31st at 10 a.m. local time. Jimmy Vaughn will serve as the opening act for all the shows.

Clapton will be backed on the upcoming dates by longtime bandmates guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, keyboardists Paul Carrack and Chris Stainton, bassist Nathan East, drummer Sonny Emory, with Sharon White and Katie Kissoon on backing vocals.

Nathan East has recorded and toured with Clapton off and on since his 1986 August album. He reflected on the qualities that make his old pal such a unique artist: ["Eric is just a one-of-a-kind. There’s Eric and then there’s every other musician (laughs). Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, y'know? He has a beautiful voice and I’ve never met anyone who plays with such passion. Music is such an expression of passion and all the things that have happened to you and whatever — and Lord knows he’s been through a lot in his life — but the way it flows through him musically is like something I’ve never ever seen."] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . never ever seen)

Eric Clapton told us that the adulation he's received for his guitar playing throughout the years has also been embarrassing for him at times: ["In terms of my guitar playing, yeah, I just thought it was all blown out of proportion. Y'know, I never saw myself as being that much better than anybody, really. I mean, I just saw myself as being another guitar player who knew a little bit about, y'know, the history of it all. I didn't ever really see myself as being particularly gifted, so it was very difficult to absorb all that kind of early adulation."] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . of early adulation)

Eric Clapton will next perform on April 15th, 18th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Eric Clapton North American tour dates (subject to change):

September 8 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
September 10 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
September 12 – St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center
September 14 – Minneapolis, MN – Xcel Energy Center
September 16 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena