J.J. Cale: The Early Years

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PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS MADE BY
J.J. CALE DURING HIS EARLY YEARS TO FINALLY BE RELEASED

A REMINDER OF THE LASTING IMPACT THE ENIGMATIC CULT FIGURE CONTINUES TO HAVE ON ROCK MUSIC

REWIND: UNRELEASED RECORDINGS
In Stores October 2

J.J. Cale
A trove of previously unreleased songs recorded by American music icon J.J. Cale during his early, and arguably most influential, years will at long last be released. Featuring vintage tracks from Cale’s legendary tenures at Shelter Records and Mercury Records, Rewind: Unreleased Recordings‘ will be in stores on October 2. Recorded at the same time Eric Clapton introduced Cale’s songs “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” to mainstream audiences, Rewind is a remarkable collection of songs that epitomize the distinctive sound and style that Cale built. “Hearing them took me back to what I was doing then and where I was when I was doing it,” says Cale. “It’s like looking at old family photographs.”

Not only are Rewind‘s eight Cale-penned songs a time capsule of musical treasures, he also personally selected several covers to include on the album. Cale devotees know that it is exceedingly rare for Cale to record another songwriter’s material, making these songs particularly extraordinary. He puts his personal stamp on “Golden Ring,” written by Eric Clapton, Leon Russell‘s “My Cricket,” the Waylon Jennings track “Waymore’s Blues” and Randy Newman‘s “Rollin’.” Throughout the album, Cale is accompanied by some of the greatest musicians of the era, including guitarist Richard Thompson, Tim Drummond on bass (Neil Young), Glen D. Hardin on piano (Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons), Muscle Shoals studio band member Spooner Oldham on organ, and drummer Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, John Lennon) among others.

The tracks had been under the care of Cale’s longtime producer, Audie Ashworth, since they were recorded in the ’70s and early ’80s. When he passed away in 2000, Ashworth’s wife Bonnie stepped in as guardian of the tapes. More than a decade has been spent trying to bring these recordings out of storage and into the hands of Cale’s devoted fans but a variety of circumstances long delayed their release. Bonnie Ashworth explains, “We feel the time is right to share these recordings with J.J. Cale’s fans. We are very excited to have found a home for them with Time Life. They released the critically-acclaimed DVD To Tulsa And Back: On Tour With J.J. Cale last year, and we believe this is a great fit for this project as well.” A&R veteran Bas Hartong, who worked alongside Cale and the Ashworths throughout the project’s entire journey, adds, “We at Time Life like to focus on uniquely American artists and musicians and no one fits that description better than J.J. Cale, whom I have had the pleasure of working with for many years. Cale has managed to stay highly influential to several generations of artists while never really changing who he is or how he approaches his craft.”

One of the most unassuming and talented figures in American music. J.J. Cale has made a major impact on American music through the effect his style and songs have had on major artists spanning genres and generations. He is credited with originating the so-called “Tulsa Sound,” which combines his laid-back guitar sound and almost whispered vocal style with influences from rock ‘n’ roll, country, blues and jazz. Beyond his own fervent worldwide cult following, his songs and style have achieved a more mainstream profile via covers of his songs by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Santana, Jerry Garcia, The Band, Bryan Ferry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Captain Beefheart, Widespread Panic and Waylon Jennings. Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton both attribute much of their sound to Cale’s influence.

Unaffected by his success as a songwriter and his iconic status among rock stars, Cale insists, “I’m a guitarist and a songwriter and I got lucky.” “I’m not a showbiz kind of guy. I had the passion to do music as much as anybody. But I never wanted to be the patsy up front,” he modestly demurs. “And I still don’t want to be famous.”

Check out JamBase’s exclusive features with J.J. Cale: Ain’t No Change In Me
and American Legend.