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Rock - Released April 26, 2019 | JJ Cale
J.J. Cale was the embodiment of cool blues. With his atypical blend of rock, folk, country, blues and jazz, he was one of the most influential figures in rock'n' roll. Worshipped by Clapton, the Cocaine writer who spent most of his time in a mobile home remains the essence of a laid-back and relaxed musical style. For his fans, Stay Around is a gift from heaven. This posthumous record from April 2019 brings together fifteen unreleased songs mixed and produced by Cale himself and compiled by his widow, Christine Lakeland, and his old collaborator and manager Mike Kappus. "I wanted to find stuff that was completely unheard to max-out the ‘Cale factor'," says Lakeland, "using as much that came from John’s ears and fingers and his choices as I could, so I stuck to John’s mixes. You can make things so sterile that you take the human feel out. But John left a lot of that human feel in. He left so much room for interpretation.” Obviously, all these gems - from the stripped back Oh My My My to the more elaborate Chasing You - do not change anything at all about what we knew and loved about this king of cool. The quality of Stay Around, which never sounds slap-dash, proves that the man took every second of his art seriously. And as always with him, we come out of this posthumous album with the feeling of having fully lived a human and warm encounter. A sincere and engaging experience, connected to the soul and the gut. Marc Zisman/Qobuz
Rock - Released January 1, 1972 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1976 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1997 | Island Mercury
Rock - Released January 1, 1997 | EMI
Rock - Released January 1, 1974 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1979 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1980 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1982 | Universal International Music B.V.
Rock - Released January 1, 1979 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
Rock - Released January 1, 1972 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
Rock - Released March 9, 2009 | JJ Cale
While songwriter J.J. Cale has established himself as an elusive and even reluctant legend in popular music with his sporadic string of releases over the last 38 years, he's never drastically changed his approach. Cale is a workmanlike songwriter whose roots in blues, Okie folk, and roots rock music have been informing his tales of travel, nocturnal pleasure, and everyday life all the while. Even the acclaimed but spaced out Travel Log (which was Cale's equivalent to Neil Young's Trans) never managed to root his sound that far afield from its wellspring. 2009's Roll On, is more strange, laid-back grooves and road-weary tales of quark strangeness and charm from an inveterate master. Where the erratic but acclaimed Road to Escondido with Eric Clapton reeked of laziness and kitsch, Roll On is steeped deep in slow boogie, slower jump jazz, swampy blues, and minor-key laid-back guitar workouts. Cale not only plays guitar and sings here, but on almost all of these cuts he does double and triple duty on drums, bass, and even Rhodes piano! His guests -- including Dave Teegarden and Jim Keltner on drums on a track each, and Clapton on one number -- only appear on four of these dozen tracks. Check, "Who Knew?," the jazzy shuffle that opens the set. Cale plays everything but the drum kit (Teegarden), and lays down a smoking set of Wes Montgomery-esque chords as well as some funky Rhodes. His syncopated vocals all slip right down the backbone of the blues with lyrics worthy of Louis Jordan. "Where the Sun Don't Shine" commences with some spooky synth loops (that could have come from Travel Log), and beefy guitars, with a rudimentary snare and hi-hat keeping the I-IV-V progression moving and popping. The guitars are pure Cale choogle and the bassline is just off enough from the main rhythmic progression to add a freaky twist. Other standouts include the acoustic electric boogie "Strange Days," with some mutant five-string banjo and mandolin work from the artist; the triple-time, space groove of "Fonda-Lina" that feels like it was taken from a B-movie soundtrack during a motel lounge scene, and the popping roots rock of the title track with Slowhand and Keltner. This is a set that proves that Cale is still a vital artist who has a few interesting tricks up his sleeve, even if he doesn't change his attack all that much. Hell, he doesn't need to, he's got weight, sleight of hand, and the Okie soul in every cell of his being, and it all comes out in the tunes. This one is solid from top to bottom. © Thom Jurek /TiVo