“The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale” is a 16-track record, which was released at the end of July, 2014 by the equally as legendary musician, Eric Clapton and featured a host of other great musicians and axemen, including Tom Petty, Dire Straits frontman Mark Knophler, the young guitar virtuoso John Mayer and the experienced Willie Nelson among others.
The Oklahoma-native Cale had a career spanning 14 records and numerous other compilation albums. Not only did he win a Grammy award with Eric Clapton in 2007 for one of these compilation albums, “The Road To Escondido” but Cale also penned numerous songs that Clapton (and others) covered, including the hits “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”.
The idea for the tribute album to Cale came about last year after his passing and a year later the album has been finished and released to some critical acclaim, chart-wise, that is. In the UK, “The Breeze” debuted at #1 while missing the top spot in the US and ending up at #2. Coincidentally, the artist who took the #1 spot in the US was Tom Petty (with “Hypnotic Eye”) who also features on “The Breeze”. The record hit #1 in Holland and Denmark, #2 in Germany and Canada and the #4 spot in Belgium.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Clapton describe Cale as a musician who “had a touch that was sensitive and subtle,” and “was happy to just be known as a songwriter.” The quality of musicians playing on this album and the fact that JJ Cale had influence over all of them will hopefully result in a quality blues album that not only pays tribute to a great musician but will also reflect the class and quality of the musicians paying the tribute.
Get the album “The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale” from iTunes and check out the video for the first single from the album, the twangy, bluegrass, country, blues concoction “Call Me the Breeze”: