As previously reported, Eric Clapton & Friends released today the tribute album “The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale).”
With performances by Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks and fellow Tulsan Don White, the album features 16 beloved Cale songs and is named for the 1972 single “Call Me The Breeze.”
Cale, the Oklahoma City-born and Tulsa-bred singer/songwriter/producer who became known as one of the primary developers of the Tulsa Sound, died July 26, 2013, in La Jolla, Calif., of a heart attack. He was 74.
The Oklahoma native wrote songs that became some of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll hits of the 1970s for other artists, most notably “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” for Clapton, “Call Me the Breeze” for Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Crazy Mama” for Neil Young.
Cale has said he came up with the idea for the tribute album on the flight to Cale’s funeral. “The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)” pays appropriately rootsy and relaxed homage to the pioneer of the Tulsa Sound, an influential amalgamation of blues, rock and country. (Read my full review of the album Friday.)
Clapton told the Associated Press that all the performers on the album influenced by Cale’s distinctive sound in some way or another.
“All through the ’70s it was JJ, it was Bob Marley, it was Stevie Wonder,” Clapton said in a phone interview. “Those were the places where I knew there was safe, real, creative stuff, and for me out of those guys he was the one I felt I could come closest to if I wanted to follow that trail.”
That trail definitely wound through the cultural crossroads of Oklahoma. White darn near steals the show on the bluesy “Sensitive Kind,” the loping “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)” and the chugging “Train to Nowhere” (also featuring Knopfler).
Others with Tulsa ties credited on the album include Jim Keltner, Jamie Oldaker, Jimmy “Junior” Markham, Jim Karstein, Walt Richmond and David Teegarden.
Check out this “The Breeze” making-of mini-documentary featuring interviews with Clapton, the other artists on the album and Cale himself, along with the lyric video for the album’s title cut:
“The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale) track listing:
1. Call Me The Breeze (Vocals Eric Clapton)
2. Rock And Roll Records (Vocals Eric Clapton & Tom Petty)
3. Someday (Vocals Mark Knopfler)
4. Lies (Vocals John Mayer & Eric Clapton)
5. Sensitive Kind (Vocals Don White)
6. Cajun Moon (Vocals Eric Clapton)
7. Magnolia (Vocals John Mayer)
8. I Got The Same Old Blues (Vocals Tom Petty & Eric Clapton)
9. Songbird (Vocals Willie Nelson & Eric Clapton)
10. Since You Said Goodbye (Vocals Eric Clapton)
11. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (Vocals Don White & Eric Clapton)
12. The Old Man And Me (Vocals Tom Petty)
13. Train To Nowhere (Vocals Mark Knopfler, Don White & Eric Clapton)
14. Starbound (Vocals Willie Nelson)
15. Don’t Wait (Vocals Eric Clapton & John Mayer)
16. Crying Eyes (Vocals Eric Clapton & Christine Lakeland)