JJ Cale is one of rock’s unsung heroes, and Eric Clapton wants to change that with a new Cale tribute album called The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, out July 29th on Clapton’s Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records. The LP, credited to “Eric Clapton & Friends,” will feature like-minded collaborators John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler and Don White. Together, they’ll honor Cale’s legacy as a songwriter, guitarist and pioneer of the Tulsa Sound.
“I would like people to tap into what JJ Cale did – that’s the point,” Clapton says in a statement. “I’m just the messenger; I’ve always felt that that’s my job. I try to interpret things so that the public at large, or at least the people who listen to what I do, will become intrigued about where I got it from.”
Cale passed away in 2013 at age 74 after suffering a heart attack. But his influence is immeasurable: Across his four-decade career, he recorded 15 albums and inspired a generation of artists like Clapton, who brought his songs to a bigger audience through popular cover versions. Clapton first honored Cale by covering the latter’s classic “After Midnight” for Eric Clapton, the guitarist’s solo debut. In 1977, Clapton recorded a chart-topping version of Cale’s “Cocaine” for his 1977 LP, Slowhand.
The two artists kept in touch over the years: In 2004, Cale played at the first edition of Clapton’s guitar festival Crossroads, with the latter sitting in as a bandmember. Then in 2006, they recorded their first studio collaboration on the 2006 album Road to Escondido. At the time, Clapton reflected on the honor, saying, “This is the realization of what may have been my last ambition, to work with the man whose music has inspired me for as long as I can remember.”
The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.
1. Call Me The Breeze (Eric Clapton)
2. Rock And Roll Records (Eric Clapton & Tom Petty)
3. Someday (Mark Knopfler)
4. Lies (John Mayer & Eric Clapton)
5. Sensitive Kind (Don White)
6. Cajun Moon (Eric Clapton)
7. Magnolia (John Mayer)
8. I Got The Same Old Blues (Tom Petty & Eric Clapton)
9. Songbird (Willie Nelson & Eric Clapton)
10. Since You Said Goodbye (Eric Clapton)
11. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (Don White & Eric Clapton)
12. The Old Man And Me (Tom Petty)
13. Train To Nowhere (Mark Knopfler, Don White & Eric Clapton)
14. Starbound (Willie Nelson)
15. Don’t Wait (Eric Clapton & John Mayer)
16. Crying Eyes (Eric Clapton & Christine Lakeland)