The American cult legend J.J. Cale has forged an inspired career that has spanned four decades, all in his trademark laidback country-rock style. He received his first major exposure in 1970 thanks to Eric Clapton, who turned his song "After Midnight" into a hit overnight. A few years later lightning struck again as Clapton had the same result with Cale's "Cocaine."
The list goes on with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd ("They Call Me The Breeze," "Bringing It Back") and Widespread Panic ("Travelin Light," "Ride Me High") among others bringing further fanfare to Cale's indelible songs. Artists as varied as Santana, The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, The Band, Chet Atkins, Freddie King and Captain Beefheart have also all covered his material.
"Basically, I'm just a guitar player that figured out I wasn't ever gonna be able to buy dinner with my guitar playing so I got into songwriting, which is a little more profitable business," says the always self-effacing Cale.
Issued on Shelter Records in September of 1976, Troubadour is J.J. Cale's fourth studio effort and follow-up to 1974's Okie, recorded with longtime producer Audie Ashworth. The timeless 12-song set is anchored by the aforementioned and often covered classics "Cocaine," "Travelin' Light" and "Ride Me High," and find's Cale's inviting boogie-rhythm guitar tones and hushed, hypnotic vocals colored with vibes and sympathetic horn arrangements.
“It is my humble opinion, he is one of the most important artists in the history of rock, quietly representing the greatest asset his country has ever had.” - Eric Clapton
"Of all the players I ever heard, it's gotta be Hendrix and JJ Cale who are the best electric guitar players." - Neil Young
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