Happy 80th Birthday to JJ Cale! It's a good day to play JJ Cale's music and appreciate what a wonderful trove of great songs he left for us all. Be aware that he left us even more music and the background to this clip is one small taste of the music yet to come. STAY AROUND and watch for more news on the continuing legacy of JJ Cale.
It's that time of year again where JJ Cale's merchandise will be on sale throughout the Holiday Season. Be sure to check out the merch store today https://stores.portmerch.com/jjcale/. The sale ends December 31.
"Call Me The Breeze" has been a popular choice for musicians covering JJ Cale, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, John Mayer, and more. But we're not sure if we've ever heard faster guitar playing or a harder rocking version than this cover by guitarist Johnny Hiland (Johnnyhilandofficial) from his album, Standing Strong (2017). Johnny has played on records by Toby Keith, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, and Hank 3 as well as having performed with Sammy Hagar, George Clinton and P-Funk, Les Paul, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, G3 and many others.
RIP Tony Joe White, who passed away on October 24th at the age of 75. Tony Joe White was a musician and songwriter best-known for his "swamp rock" or "swamp groove" style. He had his own hits with "Polk Salad Annie" and "A Rainy Night in Georgia", but his songs were also recorded by many legendary musicians such as ELVIS PRESLEY, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings and more. Although they only rarely crossed paths, JJ Cale and Tony Joe White were mutual admirers. Tony Joe was quoted in an interview with songfacts.com as saying "Well JJ was another hero, man. He was right in there with Elvis and Tina Turner to me. People like that." As for Cale, he showed his respect for a somewhat surprised and appreciative Tony Joe when he responded to his invitation to collaborate on Tony Joe's "Louvelda". Tony Joe didn't have high hopes for his request since Cale rarely collaborated with anyone but, about two weeks later, per Tony Joe, a CD came back from Cale with this letter inside (which he later said he had "framed in my studio"): "Dear Tony Joe, I hope you don't mind. I got so into the song that I not only recorded it, laid it down, but I wrote another verse to the end of it." Per Tony Joe (from an interview with American Songwriter Magazine), "not only did he get on it…he put five guitars on, electric banjo, electric fiddle and then he wrote two more verses to it." The song appears on Tony Joe's Uncovered CD (2006), on which he featured some of his other favorite artists such as Waylon Jennings, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Michael McDonald. Tony Joe had also recorded Cale's "Magnolia" which appeared on Jamie Oldaker's Mad Dogs & Okies project.
"Travelin' Light" appeared on JJ Cale's 1976 album Troubadour. Widespread Panic has frequently covered the song during their live shows. Twenty years ago, their cover of "Travelin' Light" appeared on their official live album, Light Fuse, Get Away, which debuted at #67 on the Billboard 200 chart. In a more unusual (but very fitting) setting, JJ Cale's original version was played to awaken the crews of the Atlantis Space Shuttle and International Space Station preceding the astronauts' spacewalk in May 2010. So, here is JJ Cale's "Travelin' Light"...
RIP Jimmy "Junior" Markham A long time friend and collaborator with JJ Cale, Jimmy passed away on Friday, September 21. Jimmy was part of the "Tulsa Sound", along with JJ Cale and Leon Russell. Jimmy played harmonica on JJ Cale's albums To Tulsa and Back (2004) and Roll On (2009), and he appeared on 2014's The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale by Eric Clapton and friends. Much more about Jimmy below in the video created for his June 2017 induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. RIP Jimmy.
JJ Cale was always flattered when others would cover his songs - especially when he really admired the artists. This is Gatemouth Brown, an early hero to Cale, covering Cale’s "Don't Cry Sister" with the ever phenomenal Sonny Landreth (Sonny Landreth- Official)on slide. And the woman joining Gate on vocals is none other than Maria Muldaur. The album title is coincidentally the same as another Cale song but not the same song.
Yes there is unreleased JJ Cale material and it's planned for a late Fall 2018 release on Because Music! With gratitude for your loyalty and appreciation for JJ Cale, this message is going exclusively to the followers of this Official JJ Cale Facebook page prior to any other announcements. Many of you have been asking and hoping that there was more unheard JJ Cale material and, yes, there is. Indeed JJ Cale did have an album's worth of material that was unreleased at the time of his passing in 2013 and it will be available soon. We will be sharing more details about the project in September but know that these songs and the production are right up there with Cale's best material. We'll be back to you next month with more information. Please note that the image shown here does not reflect cover art as that is yet to be confirmed.
Happy Birthday to Christine Lakeland Cale! Christine and JJ Cale are shown here performing "Devil in Disguise" live in a studio for a Dutch Radio program in 1994. The song was originally released on 1982's Grasshopper. Backing Cale and Christine are band members Rocky Frisco, Bill Raffensperger, Jim Karstein and James Cruce.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Burton Cummings who was injured recently in a car accident. Cummings was the lead singer for The Guess Who and for the band's hits including "American Woman” (later famously covered by Lenny Kravitz), "These Eyes", and "Laughing". Burton went on to a successful solo career, as shown here with his own band from a few years back, paying tribute to JJ Cale. Here they are performing Cale's "Trouble in the City", which originally appeared on #8 (1983).
Here's a very unique rendition of JJ Cale's "Cocaine" created by French duo YS, featuring performers Anaïs Bellin and Alice Biaux. According to the pair's website, they named their duo 'Ys' after an island that appears in a Brittany legend, and which represents "...a symbol of femininity and eternal youth. ... This island, a kind of Breton Atlantis, has been and remains an immense source of inspiration for many artists: musicians, painters and illustrators." A great example here of the breadth of influence of JJ Cale's music.
“Train To Nowhere” is an especially intriguing and previously unreleased JJ Cale song recorded for The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale (2014) by Eric Clapton & Friends. A long and illustrious list of Cale’s friends, collaborators and admirers came together to pay tribute to our / their hero, JJ Cale. Participants on the record included Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Don White, Simon Climie, Don Preston, Walt Richmond, Christine Lakeland, Michelle John, Sharon White, Nathan East, Jim Keltner, Jimmy "Junior" Markham, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Reggie White, Derek Trucks, Albert Lee, David Lindley, Doyle Bramhall II, Greg Leisz, Mickey Raphael, James Cruce, Jim Karstein, Satnam Ramgotra, Jamie Oldaker, and David M. Teegarden Sr.. Listen, enjoy and share.
JJ Cale’s “Magnolia” is given an even more laid-back treatment here by another Tulsa musician, Wink Burcham Music, accompanied by Paul Wilkes and Fabian Cornelissen. This performance was recorded just a few days ago in The Netherlands for The Blue Room Sessions. Great to see Cale’s legacy still being shared and enjoyed by younger generations!
JJ Cale was all about the music and he surrounded himself with some of the best musicians anywhere to make music with him. Seen here in the video for "No Time” from 1990's Travel-Log are some of his esteemed cohorts and a sampling of their credits / collaborations including Christine Lakeland (Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, Hoyt Axton), Spooner Oldham (R&R Hall of Fame inductee and collaborator with Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, The Everly Brothers and a long list of other icons), Steve Douglas (R&R Hall of Fame Inductee and collaborator with Phil Spector, Ry Cooder, The Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, ELVIS PRESLEY and Bob Dylan among many others), Tim Drummond (Bob Dylan, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Miles Davis, B.B. King and many more), Jim Karstein (Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie, The Tractors) and James Cruce (John Hammond, David Lindley, Dave Alvin, Pete Anderson). Probably the most fun here that any of them ever had while making a video.
UK legend, Joe Brown covers JJ Cale’s iconic “Call Me The Breeze”, Live In Liverpool. The song begins after introducing the guitar he is playing, a gift from George Harrison’s son, Dhani. The guitar is an exact replica of Eddie Cochran's Gretsch guitar. Brown's illustrious history included a stint backing Cochran on his UK tour (as well as other US heroes at the time including Gene Vincent and Johnny Cash). Brown appeared in the 2002 stand out Royal Albert Hall tribute concert to the late George Harrison, 'Concert For George’, which also featured Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Riva & Anoushka Shankar, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne and more.
It's Grammy Awards weekend in the U.S., and we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of JJ Cale and Eric Clapton’s The Road To Escondido winning the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Seems appropriate to revisit this video tribute to the making of the album (as well as other archival footage) featuring "Ride The River" taken from the award winning album.
Shannon McNally Music covers JJ Cale’s “Low Rider” live on Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Music Foundry. We posted her studio version of this song last Summer but we now have this live video to accompany the song. The cover appears on Shannon's Black Irish album which ranks high on the 2017 Americana Airplay Top 100 Chart Albums. Also ranking high on the 2017 Top 100 Americana Airplay Albums chart is Tift Merritt's album, Stitch Of The World, which includes the song "Day He Died", written in tribute to JJ Cale. We posted this song in May, and it features accompaniment by Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. Enjoy Shannon's live cover of "Low Rider", as she joins so many other artists worldwide in continuing the legacy of the great JJ Cale.