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JJ Cale - Stay Around

(Vinyl 2LP + CD) * * *

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Posthumous Album of Previously Unreleased JJ Cale Songs Compiled By Those Closest To Him - His Widow, Musician Christine Lakeland Cale and Longtime Manager, Mike Kappus!

Because Music presents Stay Around, the first posthumous release of works by beloved songwriter, guitarist, and singer JJ Cale, compiled by those closest to him - his widow, musician Christine Lakeland Cale, and friend and longtime manager, Mike Kappus. Cale - who died in 2013 and left behind a vital resounding legacy - spent his career as an "under-the-radar-giant" (New York Times) and influenced musicians as wide ranging as Neil Young (who wrote in his autobiography, "JJ's guitar playing is a huge influence on me. His touch is unspeakable. I am stunned by it."); Beck (who, speaking to the L.A. Times, referred to his "effortlessness...restraint and underplaying" as "very powerful"); and Eric Clapton (who, in his autobiography, called Cale "one of the most important artists in the history of rock, quietly representing the greatest asset his country has ever had"). 

All of the tracks on Stay Around are previously unreleased, a fact that's not unusual considering Cale's modus operandi: often Cale would reserve outtakes from one album for later release on another. Mike Kappus, who represented Cale for 30 years and has worked with his estate since his passing, explains, "‘Roll On,' the title track of Cale's last studio album, was 34 years old. He would burn me CDs of demos, and one time I said, ‘You've got two good albums on here.' Some of the tracks had detailed information, some of them had nothing. Some songs might be a full band of his buddies, others were him playing everything. These were songs he really did intend to do something with because they were carried to his typical level of production for release."

On Stay Around, the only song not written by JJ Cale is Christine Lakeland Cale's "My Baby Blues," the first song she and JJ cut as a four-piece combo in Bradley's Barn studio in 1977, the year they met. A long time member of his band, she expresses that the song "brings everything full-circle" for her. In compiling Stay Around, Christine pored over songs, both studio and home recordings that the public had never heard. She adds, "I wanted to find stuff that was completely unheard to max-out the ‘Cale factor'...using as much that came from John's ears and fingers and his choices as I could, so I stuck to John's mixes...You can make things so sterile that you take the human feel out. But John left a lot of that human feel in. He left so much room for interpretation."

Cale cut his teeth during the '50s, playing guitar in bars in Oklahoma alongside fellow natives David Gates of Bread and Leon Russell, and is credited as one of the key figures in creating the laid-back "Tulsa sound." He managed to gather a loyal fan following and the admiration of some of the most revered rock musicians while - in the unwavering desire to lead a normal life - eluding fame, and it was via other artists recording and performing his songs that he became best known. Clapton recorded "After Midnight," "Cocaine," and several other Cale originals, his admiration culminating with the pair's Road To Escondido collaboration in 2006, which earned Cale his first Grammy and his first Gold certified album. 
Among the many others who covered Cale's songs are Jerry Garcia, Captain Beefheart, Spiritualized, Beck, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bryan Ferry, Santana, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, The Band, Widespread Panic, Freddie King, Phish, Waylon Jennings, Maria Muldaur, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Dan Auerbach.

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