Originally posted August 3, 2014.
JJ Cale, who died a year ago July, had a unique and deceptively simple sound that came from his playing behind the beat. On July 29, Eric Clapton’s tribute CD to JJ will be released. As Eric says about his friend, “He was a fantastic guy and a great musician. He was my hero.” Also playing on Eric Clapton & Friends – The Breeze are Tom Petty, Mark Knophler, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks and John Mayer.
JJ wrote songs that became some of the biggest hits in the 1970s, two of which he wrote for Clapton—“Cocaine” and “After Midnight.” In an interview with NPR, Eric Clapton explains how he was tired of the “gymnastic guitar playing” of the 70s and 80s. Clapton credits JJ Cale in helping Eric keep his music minimal but still relevant. “That was the essence of JJ’s music to me, apart from the fact that he summed up so many of the different essences of American music: rock and jazz and folk, blues. He just seemed to have an understanding of it all.”
Do you recognize the driver in the video Eric Clapton & Friends—Call Me the Breeze?