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Music Review: J.J. Cale – Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings

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Written by Anonimo

Who is J.J. Cale? Let’s see, only one of the most influential musical figures in American music. Being a fan of music with more of an electronic flair, I would have never known that Cale has had an impact on major artists spanning generations and genres. His songs have been covered by artists such as the likes of Johnny Cash (“Call Me Breeze”), Eric Clapton (“After Midnight” and “Cocaine”), Santana (“The Sensitive Light”), The Band (“Crazy Mama”), Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Bringing It Back” and “Same Old Blues”), and Widespread Panic (“Ride Me High”) just to name a few.

I had the pleasure of being introduced to the music of Cale through his newest album, Rewind: Unreleased Recordings, a treasure of songs, the first three of which (“Guess I Lose,” “Waymore’s Blues,” and “Rollin’”) were my favorites. However, after falling in love with what is known as the “Tulsa Sound,” (a musical style that originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma consisting of a mix of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, and blues sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s) I’ve come to love the whole album.

It is a compilation of songs recorded in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, which may be Cale’s most influential years. He seduces us in “Guess I Lose,” whispering the lyrics as if they were sweet nothings into our ears. “My Baby and Me” makes me want to grab a bottle and drink to alleviate my inner turmoil, although I’m not much of a drinker. I could go on, but that would spoil the anticipation of Cale devotees looking forward to his laid-back style and shuffle rhythms.

What will surely be of interest to his fans is the inclusion of covers, a rare occurance. Cale performs Eric Clapton’s “Golden Ring,” Leon Russell’s “My Cricket,” Randy Newman’s “Rollin’,” and the previously mentioned “Waymore’s Blues” by Waylon Jennings. On that last track, Cale makes me realize I’m not the only man with a wandering eye when he sings: “Well I got a good woman/ what’s the matter with me/ What makes wanna love/ every woman I see.”

Bottom line the album is a must-have for all J.J. Cale fans, country-blues listeners, or fans of bands that owe their sound to the influence of his music. I consider myself lucky for the opportunity to have in my hands some of the greatest American music ever written.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS