The 'What I Go To School For' hitmaker has revealed the 'Layla' legend was sent the track by his friend Stephen Bishop - who co-wrote the ballad - and he was ''very complimentary''.
James told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre column: ''The first single is out now and people have said some amazing stuff about it, which is really awesome.
''I got an amazing note from Eric Clapton, because a lot of people have said it reminded them of him.
''I wrote the song with a guy called Stephen Bishop, who is a lifelong friend of Eric's and who has written some amazing songs with Phil Collins.
''Stephen sent the song to Eric and he wrote back an amazing message that was very complimentary about it.''
What's more, James is hoping he can get the 75-year-old guitar legend to perform the track with him one day.
He said: ''There is this cool part going on behind the vocals and the acoustic take it would be cool to hear him play.''
The song - which is remarkably different to his work in pop rock groups Busted, McBusted and Son of Dork - is the first glimpse of James' solo record, 'Safe Journey Home', which follows on October 23.
A press release for the record stated that it's ''an expression of his life's journey through music, and a celebration of the classic song craft that has informed everything he has put his name to.''
And the 36-year-old songwriter - who has penned songs for the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer, Backstreet Boys, Mel C and Pixie Lott - has been so productive in lockdown that he's already got a second album done and dusted.
He said: ''I've made an unbelievable album, which is going to be my next one after this one. I made it in lockdown.''
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