J. J. Cale: Troubadour
J.J. Cale, much like Nick Drake and Alex Chilton, is an artist whose genius and influence far outweigh his popularity. Here at Acoustic Sounds he's one of our favorites. And now through this exceptional Analogue Productions reissue, pressed on 200-gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings, you're going to hear Cale on his signature hits like "Cocaine" sound more vibrant and real than you've ever heard before! With his laid-back rootsy style, Cale is best known for writing "After Midnight" and "Cocaine", songs that Eric Clapton later made into hits. But Cale's influence wasn't only through songwriting — All Music Guide notes that his distinctly loping sense of rhythm and shuffling boogie became the blueprint for the adult-oriented roots rock of Clapton and Mark Knopfler, among others. Cale's refusal to vary the sound of his music over the course of his career caused some critics to label him as a one-trick pony, but he managed to build a dedicated cult following with his sporadically released recordings. "Troubadour", released in 1976, is notable for introducing "Cocaine", which Clapton covered on his "Slowhand"-album a year later. Producer Audie Ashworth introduced some different instruments, notably vibes and what sound like horns (although none are credited), for a slightly altered sound. As one reviewer says, Cale's druggy brand of rhythmic, spooky storytelling falls far outside of easy characterization. Cale's signature laid back, bluesy style of country rock features rambling snapshots of love and life on the road that are unconventionally addicting. Reviewer James Burke says all of the songs on "Troubadour" are outstanding. The warhorse "Cocaine" is far more intriguing in its original version, more menacing and worldworn than Clapton's driving take. The uncharacteristically energetic "Travelin' Light" is a whispered invitation to the road — half intrigue, half warning. "Troubadour" is a timeless recording of the highest caliber.
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