Eric Clapton has been working on a new album, which will be released early next year, his 50th anniversary as a professional musician.

He'll support the new disc with a tour, and the first announced dates are in his native England in May, including five shows at London's Royal Albert Hall. Joining him will be Doyle Bramhall the Second on guitar, Steve Jordan on drums, Chris Stainton on piano and keyboards, Willie Weeks on bass, Michelle John and Sharon White on background vocals, along with newcomers -- former Ace and Squeeze singer-keyboardist Paul Carrack and Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar.

Clapton joined The Yardbirds in 1963.