Any fans of JJ Cale? I certainly am!

421JAM

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So glad I got to see him in concert. Wish I'd seen him more than once. I remember he came out and started the show real mellow by himself, and brought out one additional band member for each song until the full band of seven or eight people were onstage. I thought that was a really effective way to ramp up the cooking-ness of the performance.
 

rand z

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I saw Cale twice.

Both times in MNLPS, MN.

The first time was at the Guthrie Theater circa 89/90.

It was my birthday and my wife bought me a ticket (she didnt want to go?!).

There were a few single seats in the 1st row right in front of the band, and I got one!

I saw the entire show only 15-20 ft from Cale.

He had Steve Douglas on sax, Spooner Oldham on keyboards, Christine Lakeland (his wife) on guitar, Bill Raffensberger on bass and Jimmy Karstein on drums.

I later found a recording of that specific show, and have it in cd collection of live Cale boots I found on line years ago.

2nd time was at an outdoor show by one of the lakes in downtown MNLPS, circa 97/98

Arlo Guthrie was there along with a few other acts.

I took along a buddy and my 9 year old daughter.

He wasnt quite as good as the night at the Guthrie; but it was still wonderful!!

JJ Cale truly was a unique talent and almost ground zero for what we now call "Americana."

imo.
 

421JAM

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I saw Cale twice.

Both times in MNLPS, MN.

The first time was at the Guthrie Theater circa 89/90.

It was my birthday and my wife bought me a ticket (she didnt want to go?!).

There were a few single seats in the 1st row right in front of the band, and I got one!

I saw the entire show only 15-20 ft from Cale.

He had Steve Douglas on sax, Spooner Oldham on keyboards, Christine Lakeland (his wife) on guitar, Bill Raffensberger on bass and Jimmy Karstein on drums.

I later found a recording of that specific show, and have it in cd collection of live Cale boots I found on line years ago.

2nd time was at an outdoor show by one of the lakes in downtown MNLPS, circa 97/98

Arlo Guthrie was there along with a few other acts.

I took along a buddy and my 9 year old daughter.

He wasnt quite as good as the night at the Guthrie; but it was still wonderful!!

JJ Cale truly was a unique talent and almost ground zero for what we now call "Americana."

imo.

Oh man, that was right around the time I saw him. The people in the band were all either unknown to me, or I couldn't make out their names when JJ introduced them. I'd be very excited to know that I've seen Spooner Oldham in person, even unknowingly.
 

Alex W

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This one is one of my favorites. His guitar playing is so cool. The song sounds like it should be in the opening title sequence of a great, great movie.

Whenever I hear covers of "Call Me the Breeze" I am struck at how un-breezy they sound compared to the original JJ Cale recording. It's like they didn't get the point of the song at all.

I like the way JJ Cale's recordings sound almost like demos. They capture so much intimacy, spontaneity, and the little sonic idiosyncrasies of the moment. You don't have to be perfect to be perfect.
 

Ed Storer

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I think the first time I heard him was '76 plus or minus. I had a date with a woman who wasn't ready when I arrived and she had JJ Cale on the stereo. His vocals and guitar styling were like a country boy sittin under a cotton wood tree, but the timekeeping was like a rolex - absolute precision. I later learned that he recorded some of his early stuff using a drum machine. Contrast explained.

Great writer and player.
 

rand z

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This one is one of my favorites. His guitar playing is so cool. The song sounds like it should be in the opening title sequence of a great, great movie.

Whenever I hear covers of "Call Me the Breeze" I am struck at how un-breezy they sound compared to the original JJ Cale recording. It's like they didn't get the point of the song at all.

I like the way JJ Cale's recordings sound almost like demos. They capture so much intimacy, spontaneity, and the little sonic idiosyncrasies of the moment. You don't have to be perfect to be perfect.


To a great degree, they were "demo's."

Cale admitted as much.

Some of his early recordings were actually done entirely with a Shure SM57, from his home studio.

Cale knew that he wasn't a BIG STAR and going to sell lots of records.

He also knew that a lot of other artist's, who were BIG STARS and sold lots of records, were looking for material.

It was them, that he was interested in.

Producers/Artists want to hear unadulterated demos (simple renditions) of songs, as they can add their own spin to the arrangements and production.

(Publishers, too.)

Cale was one of those songwriters that they looked to for those simple songs.

He said that when he approached a publisher, he would generally offer them 50% of the royalties on any of his songs that they wanted.

It sounds extremely liberal; but, his reasoning was that, with their 50%, they would be more apt to pitch/push those songs.

(He also had made out pretty well with previously published/recorded songs, with similar deals.)

As he really didn't care much for touring... he was ok with it.

What he really did like was, periodically, going to his mailbox and pulling out a nice royalty check.

That was JJ Cale.

imo.
 
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elihu

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Whenever I hear covers of "Call Me the Breeze" I am struck at how un-breezy they sound compared to the original JJ Cale recording. It's like they didn't get the point of the song at all.
When I first heard Lynyrd Skynyrd's version of Call Me The Breeze it was perfect for the 13 year old me-loud electric guitars, lyric about freedom and it swung. I wasn't mature enough to appreciate the original. One hallmark of a good song is that it can be interpreted different ways and still work.
 

rand z

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Big fan. A big deal in tulsa obviously. Don’t let his final album slip by you - Roll On is classic Cale.

There is one more (so far).

Posthumously released by his wife (and band-member), Christine Lakeland Cale.

Stay Around is a collection of some of Cale's recorded, unreleased songs that Christine put together a few years ago.

Any Cale fan would surely enjoy it!

I believe it's available on his website; or just do a search on the title/name and you'll find it!

imo.
 
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Jared Purdy

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Not to be confused with violinist John Cale of The Velvet Underground, JJ Cale was an American
guitarist, singer, songwriter and sound engineer. Though he avoided the limelight, his influence as a musical artist has been acknowledged by figures such as Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Waylon Jennings, Melissa Etheridge and Eric Clapton, who described him as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock". He is one of the originators of the Tulsa sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz.

In 2008, Cale and Clapton received a Grammy Award for their album The Road to Escondido.

JJ Cale is a very underappreciated songwriter. Most people may remember him for his song Crazy Mama, which was also his only Top 40 hit.



But most people may also remember that JJ Cale wrote the song Call Me The Breeze, which became a massive hit for Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd when they recorded it in 1974.


JJ Cale is a very good example of boogie rock and blues rock. I do wish people spoke about him in the same way they spoke about Jerry Garcia or even early Fleetwood Mac, because JJ Cale was a great guitarist, and he certainly should be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Massive fan over here. Most of his albums are fantastic, but his first two stand out for sheer brilliance. I really like the album he did with Clapton as well, and for a couple of reasons. It's all around excellent, and it shows that he was a hell of a lot better musician than Clapton. Better guitar player, better singer, better song writer. J Cale oozes soul. Clapton oozes something, not sure what it is?
 

AndrewG

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Yes, big fan. There's one very short track (1:36) on the 'Grasshopper' album (called 'Grasshopper'), featuring beautifully melodic steel-pan drums played by the amazing Robert Greenidge. It's one of those tunes that you don't want to stop.
 
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