Various Artists | Tribute to J J Cale, Vol. 2 The Instrumental Sessions

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Tribute to J J Cale, Vol. 2 The Instrumental Sessions

by Various Artists

This compilation celebrates the extraordinary Blues- and Classic Rock-inspired music and hits by Oklahoma-born songwriter, singer and guitarist J J Cale, in new instrumental recordings by leading ZOHO ROOTS artists and their musical collaborators.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crazy Mama
Rufus Huff
3:30 $0.99
2. Cocaine
Rufus Huff
4:10 $0.99
3. Don't Cry Sister
Swamp Cabbage
3:04 $0.99
4. Cajun Moon
Swamp Cabbage
3:44 $0.99
5. Same Old Blues
Swamp Cabbage
3:39 $0.99
6. Sensitive Kind
Walter Parks
2:47 $0.99
7. Any Way the Wind Blows
Dixie Tabernacle
3:08 $0.99
8. Lies
Dixie Tabernacle
3:17 $0.99
9. Don't Wait
Greg Skaff
3:04 $0.99
10. Money Talks
Greg Skaff
4:46 $0.99
11. Louisiana Women
Michael Powers
5:27 $0.99
12. Travelin' Light
Michael Powers
3:33 $0.99
13. Ride Me High
Tim & Roddy Amith's Groove Gang
3:14 $0.99
14. Down to Memphis
Doug Phelps & Larry Goad
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When the history of American Rock, Blues and Roots music of the late 20th century and beyond will be written, there is no doubt that Oklahoma-born songwriter, singer and guitarist J J Cale will be a significant chapter in it. Born in Oklahoma City in 1938 but raised in Tulsa, J J moved to L.A. in 1964 to pursue a music career, together with fellow Oklahomans Leon Russell and Carl Radle. One of his earliest gigs was a brief stint with the still unkown Delanie and Bonnie.
1970 became a break-out year for JJ when Eric Clapton covered one of his early songs “After Midnight” making it a US Top 20 hit, thus providing J J with needed exposure. In 1971, JJ released his first LP “Naturally” on Shelter Records which contained his versions of several classic Cale songs including “Crazy Mama” and “Call Me the Breeze”. His first record immediately established the inimitable, laid-back and rootsy J J Cale style which remained his trademark for his entire later career.
Cale has become a huge influence on the adult oriented roots rock of Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, and many others. His songs have been famously covered not only by Eric Clapton, but also by Lynrd Skynrd , The Band, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Santana, to name a few. His many collaborations with Eric Clapton in particular have been highly successful: their collaborative 2006 CD release “The Road to Escondido” won a GRAMMY in the “Best Contemporary Blues Album” category in 2008!
When ZOHO proposed the idea of creating a “Tribute to J J Cale” recording to the label’s artists and their musical friends, no coaxing or convincing was necessary – such was the respect, admiration, enthusiasm and love for his highly distinctive and memorable songwriting. This “Volume 2 - The Instrumental Sessions” presents 14 of J J’s songs in a variety of instrumental settings, from acoustic solo guitar versions over rootsy, contemporary Americana-styled re-interpretations all the way to the roof-rattling, arena size hard rock of the two opening tracks by Rufus Huff.
Named after two obscure bluesmen, Whistlin' Rufus and Luther Huff, the Glasgow, Kentucky based quartet is led by guitarist Greg Martin, known to many as the lead guitarist of leading Country Rock outfit The Kentucky HeadHunters. Rufus Huff are contributing incendiary versions of “Crazy Mama” and “Cocaine”, both early 1970s J J Cale hits. - Rufus’ 2009 ZOHO debut release “Rufus Huff” was described as “a sexy blend of early ZZ Top, a hint of Sly and the Family Stone, topped off with just the right amount of Cream.”
The next four tracks on this compilation are united by the brilliant arranging skills and re-creative powers of Walter Parks, guitarist, lead vocalist and leader of Swamp Cabbage, the Northern Florida swamp rock guitar trio. Walter Parks formed Swamp Cabbage in 2001 as a means of exploring his southern musical influences and sharing his interpretations of them. Walter’s electric guitar style is a mélange of Scott Joplin’s ragtime and Jerry Reed’s bayou pickin’. Matt Lindsey’s bass barks like a tuba through a fuzz box and Jagoda drums like he’s leadin’ a New Orleans funeral parade. On Swamp Cabbage’s 2008 ZOHO ROOTS label debut “Squeal”, the trio offered a rousing, comedic travelogue through Walter’s North Florida upbringing, laced with trailer-trash funk and Z Z Top’s electric boogie.
“Don’t Cry Sister”, “Cajun Moon” and “Same Old Blues” gives you Swamp Cabbage straight up, featuring Walter Parks’ highly evocative lead guitar work in front of dense tapestries of grooves which are deeply drenched in traditional Southern Blues roots. “Sensitive Kind” shines like a diamond in Walter’s spare, moody acoustic guitar treatment.
The songs “Any Way the Wind Blows” and “Lies” were contributed and recorded by Nashville-based studio band “Dixie Tabernacle”. It is another offshoot of the Kentucky HeadHunters, featuring their current vocalist and bassist Doug Phelps. Co-principal and co-producer of Dixie Tabernacle is Larry Goad, a longtime working musician who currently produces artists out of his own Abbey Goad Studios in Nashville. Both tracks exude a breezy Country Rock flavor complete with multiple keyboards, and layers of guitar tracks. Doug and Larry also collaborated on “Down to Memphis”, a recent J J Cale song from his 2009 CD release “Roll On” – which is added as a vocal bonus track at the end of this CD.
We are now temporarily leaving the South for the next four tracks, to listen in on New York City-based artists’ takes on J J’s music: Greg Skaff, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is a Harlem, NY based jazz guitarist and composer. After moving to New York in the early 1980s, Skaff’s first professional gig was with the legendary Stanley Turrentine. The sax master was so impressed with Skaff’s playing that he kept the young guitarist in his employ for the next five years. Following his tenure with Turrentine, Skaff has gone on to make his mark as a bandleader and as a sideman with Ruth Brown, Freddie Hubbard, David “Fathead” Newman, and Bobby Watson, among others.
On his second ZOHO CD release “East Harlem Skyline” (2009), Greg Skaff reached new heights as a guitarist and composer in what the New Jersey Star-Ledger called “a vibrant view of the modern day jazz guitar-organ-drums trio.” The CD included guest spots by heavy hitters Darryl Jones on bass (Rolling Stones, Sting) and Charley Drayton on drums (Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop). Both are back on Greg’s version of “Money Talks” which also features Mike Finnegan (Jimi Hendrix, Taj Mahal) on organ. On the soulful “Don’t Wait”, Greg takes it down to acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and asoft background foot-stomp, achieving a Southern “front porch” authenticity of mood which is remarkable.
Harlem based blues guitarist and singer Michael Powers was taught his first guitar chord by bluesman Jimmy Reed. During his high school summers, he toured with James Cotton's Band. Later, Michael formed "Moonbeam", a band which stayed together for 13 years, performing all over the country, opening for James Brown, Bo Diddley, the Ronettes, and others. Michael's two solo Blues CD's received five (Memphis) Blues Music Award nominations, at whose Awards Gala event Michael has performed twice. When not touring global Blues and Rock festivals, Michael and his band hold a residency at Terra Blues, New York’s leading Blues club on legendary Bleeker Street, in Greenwich Village. Michael’s instrumental versions of “Louisiana Women” and “Travelin’ Light” feature his trademark blistering Hendrix- and Clapton-style electric guitar workouts.

Following our Harlem sojourn, we are returning once again to Nashville with Tim & Roddy Smith’s Groove Gang, the acoustic side project to their already well established “electric” project – the Mr Groove Band. Bassist / producer Tim Smith and his brother, guitarist Roddy Smith, have already enriched ZOHO’s catalog with three historic productions surrounding Bonnie Bramlett (2006), Boots Randolph (2007) and the Tribute to Ike Turner (2009). ZOHO is thrilled to welcome them back with their marvelous, classic bluegrass fiddle, dobro and guitar treatment of JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High”.
Joachim “Jochen” Becker



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