Despite never being what I would call "an acoustic guitar guy", I always dug the ever-reaching and even educational style of John Fahey's music. An early "world music" blender, his records covered country blues, gospel, Indian ragas, ambient sounds, classical, avant-garde and various international folk styles, documented on a classic run of '60s & '70s sides.
I can't say as much for Eric Clapton, although I like his music enough, I just don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy Fahey's. Certainly, Clapton also scoped wide influences: blues, country, jazz, psychedelic rock, Arabic, reggae, etc. One of my favorite tunes from Clapton was his sufi-inspired heart-wrencher for Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife at the time he wrote "Layla". Co-written with Jim Gordon, the song is part of the Derek & The Dominoes album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, released in 1970. (Boyd and Clapton would marry in '79).
Fahey was more known for either his own deeply-charged and unique compositions, or his adaptation of styles of yesteryears. And his Christmas albums are perennial sellers. But once in awhile he could flirt with pop. Check out his brilliant and faithful cover of "Layla", played by Fahey and his picking partner Terry Robb, ca. '84. While some critics have panned this choice of song, I think it's gorgeous. It's stripped down to just the two players but it tells the story.
Judge for yourself:
TWISTED features left-field cover versions of popular songs.