JJ Cale, Troubadour

I’m sad to read that JJ Cale died of a heart-attack on Friday.  A truly understated talent.

His laid-back country-blues was unmistakeable and I loved his music, especially his 1971 debut, Naturally, and the string of albums that slowly transitioned from laid-back Tulsa/country-blues to a more urban – but equally unhurried style: 1976’s Troubadour, 1979’s 5 and 1981’s Shades.  I’m afraid I drifted away from his later albums although the collaboration with Eric Clapton, Road to Escondido was a welcome return to form.

Shades was my introduction to Cale, having recognised the name from Eric Clapton’s covers of Cocaine, After Midnight and I’ll Make Love To You Anytime.  Right now, I wish I’m tempted to dig out my record deck and play the original vinyl.

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