# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

JJ Cale - Roll On

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 5 / 4 / 2009

JJ Cale - Roll On
Label: Because Music
Format: CD


Marvellous third comeback album from veteran singer-songwriter, JJ Cale

You may not think you know what the music of JJ Cale sounds like, but as I so often find is my duty to tell people, you’d be wrong to think that. Cale’s sound is the one that Eric Clapton borrowed during the 1970s (he also helped himself to some of his songs, such as ‘After Midnight’, his first solo hit) and, when he was bored of it, Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits turned this same sound into their eponymous first (and just maybe their best) album. He has a distinctive approach to making music - and he hasn’t seen fit to change it. That means that he has never been in fashion, but also that his fans haven’t given up on him. He has even been able to pick up the occasional new fan, which is where I came in a few years back. These songs don’t sound like anything in particular - occasionally you get the hint of 50s rock ‘n’ roll, sometimes it’s the blues, sometimes he’s closer to country or folk, but generally you expect to sit back and let the songs wash over you. They tend just to be little shuffles, around a repeated melody which then get embellished with tricky, but never flashy, guitar solos. Lots of people try and do this kind of thing (take a walk around a few local pubs, and you’ll probably find a bar band trying their hand at as you read this), but Cale is simply better at it than anyone else. These songs are consistently marvellous, be it the smoky piano jazz of ‘Former Me‘, the lazy country of ‘Leaving In The Morning’ or the up-tempo belter of a title track, ‘Roll On’ itself, which does just what it says it will. A few years ago, sadly, it seemed that he’d given up. After his 1996 album ‘Guitar Man’, (which, after ‘Roll On‘, is where you might like to go next), there was an eight year wait for a new album. Rumours of retirement abounded. But this is his third album since his 2004 comeback, and it may just be the best yet - if he really has retired, he has spent his gardening years well. The finest offering on this excellent album is the endearingly sentimental and simple ‘Old Friend’. Those of you with the good sense to pick up a copy of ‘Roll On’ may find that this is exactly what JJ Cale comes to mean to you.

Track Listing:-
1 Who Knew
2 Former Me
3 Where The Sun Don't Shine
4 Down To Memphis
5 Strange Days
6 Cherry Street
7 Fonda-Lina
8 Leaving In The Morning
9 Oh Mary
10 Old Friend
11 Roll On
12 Bring Down The Curtain

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