JJ Cale's posthumous album 'Stay Around' released today, home-state celebration planned
“Stay Around,” the first posthumous release of works by beloved Oklahoma native, songwriter, guitarist and singer JJ Cale, is out today via Because Music.
As previously reported, "Stay Around" was compiled by those closest to Cale: his widow and fellow musician Christine Lakeland Cale, and friend and longtime manager, Mike Kappus.
An Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer, Cale penned some of the biggest rock ’n’ roll hits of the 1970s for other artists — most notably “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” for Clapton, “Call Me the Breeze” for Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Crazy Mama” for Neil Young — and was a pioneer of the legendary Tulsa Sound, a mix of blues, rockabilly, country, jazz and rock 'n' roll.
"Stay Around" will be the first album from Cale, who was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Tulsa, since his final studio offering, 2009’s "Roll On."
For the first time in a decade, listeners will be moved by a new collection of unreleased Cale songs, a feat that’s possible due to Cale’s modus operandi: In addition to regularly writing and recording new songs in his home studio, Cale would typically reserve outtakes from one album for later release on another. That resulted in a reserve of ready for release songs from which this album's collection was drawn.
In compiling "Stay Around," Christine Lakeland Cale pored over these songs, both studio and home recordings, that the public had never heard. The result is an album mixed and produced by Cale himself, left nearly untouched to leave, in Christine’s words, the “Cale Factor.” The only song not written by Cale is Christine’s “My Baby Blues,” the first song she and Cale cut as a four-piece combo in Bradley’s Barn studio in 1977, the year they met, according to a news release.
As previously reported, the OKPOP Museum, a project of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Cale's estate are planning some special events tonight at Tulsa's Circle Cinema, 10 S Lewis Ave., to mark the official release date of “Stay Around.”
OKPOP will celebrate the official release of “Stay Around” with a reception featuring a special photo exhibit, special guests and reception from 6 to 7 tonight, followed by a screening of the 2005 film “To Tulsa and Back” and the premiere of new music videos from “Stay Around.” Tickets to this event can be purchased at www.circlecinema.com. All screening tickets will include a CD ($25) or a vinyl album ($40).
Also to celebrate the release of "Stay Around," Because Music is releasing today for the first time vinyl pressings of four albums from Cale’s catalog: "Closer To You" (1994), "Guitar Man" (1996), "Live" (2001), and "To Tulsa and Back" (2004). "Roll On" will also be re-pressed after a long period out of print, according to a news release. The reissues are available in limited 180g black vinyl and CD. For more information, click here.
Cale, who died in 2013 at age 74, 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, “J. J.’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”); 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”); and many more.
Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Tulsa, Cale cut his teeth during the 1950s, 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. Eric Clapton recorded “After Midnight,” “Cocaine,” and several other Cale originals, his admiration culminating with the pair’s "Road To Escondido" 2006 collaboration, which earned Cale his first Grammy, for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and his first certified gold award.
Among the many others who covered Cale’s songs are Jerry Garcia, Captain Beefheart, Spiritualized, Beck, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer, Bryan Ferry, Santana, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, The Band, Widespread Panic, Freddie King, Phish, Waylon Jennings, Maria Muldaur, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hiss The Golden Messenger, Dan Auerbach, and Lee Fields, to name just a few.
JJ Cale – "Stay Around"
1. Lights Down Low
2. Chasing You
3. Winter Snow
4. Stay Around
5. Tell You ‘Bout Her
6. Oh My My
7. My Baby Blues
8. Girl Of Mine
9. Go Downtown
10. If We Try
11. Tell Daddy
12. Wish You Were Here
13. Long About Sundown
15. Don’t Call Me Joe