Friday, May 3, 2013

They Call Me the Breeze - JJ Cale

You might recognize JJ's backup guitarist, kind of a slow-handed guy, stage left

As it works out, I happen to think that the arrangement Lynyrd Skynyrd did of this song is the best thing I ever heard Skynyrd do, and I stumbled across this while looking for a good video of that.  This original is a very different song, but also great in its own right.

JJ Cale, at 75, is still a musical icon, and one many people have never heard of.  If you've never heard of him or never heard him play, you've absolutely heard his laid back style of blues, country, rock and Western swing that has been played by Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Skynyrd and many more.  Cale wrote "After Midnight", Eric Clapton's monster hit, which gave him lifetime financial security.  Unusual among musicians, Cale is not about making himself stand out.  He doesn't care about being famous, and once quipped about "fame and fortune", "I'd like to have the fortune, but I don't care too much about the fame."  When asked if bothered him that there were millions who knew his music but didn't know anything about him said, "No, it doesn't bother me," he laughs. "What's really nice is when you get a check in the mail."