Cale, JJ Stay Around 7" - Vinyl

Cale, JJ


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In 2007, six years before his death, Time Life issued Rewind: Unreleased Recordings, a mixed bag of outtakes, demos, and other material -- some of it not up to John Cale's usual standards. Six years after his passing, songwriter, singer, and widow Christine Lakeland and manager Mike Kappus deliver Stay Around, a 15-track set of unreleased material drawn from the whole of Cale's career. Unlike Rewind, however, these cuts were sitting in the vault, mixed, mastered, and finished. According to Lakeland, Cale always cut more songs than necessary, holding back tracks that didn't fit the particular album he was working on, or to have on hand in case he needed them later.
Of Stay Around's 15 songs, all but one were penned by Cale; the lone exception is "My Baby Blues," a tune Lakeland wrote specifically for him. The sessions are peopled with the usual spate of greats Cale surrounded himself with: Jim Keltner, Kenny Buttery, Tommy Cogbill, David Briggs, Spooner Oldham, Reggie Young, and many more. Fans already know what the record sounds like, it's full of half-whispered vocals and subtle, warm, blues licks and the eternal Cale "shuffle-or-die" aesthetic. The chugging blues rhythm on opener "Lights Down Low" is delicious, all smoky and nocturnal. "Chasing You" is a choogler complete with Tulsa boogie. The title track is a soulful, seductive country song enhanced by a subtle, strummed acoustic and Bobby Emmons' pedal steel with a faux reggae backbeat. "My Baby Blues" had wrangling slide guitars, honky tonk piano, layered vocals by Lakeland and Cale, and a post-midnight groove, while the proceeding "Girl of Mine" is a hillbilly blues influenced by Hank Williams. "Go Downtown" is one of those amazing late-era Cale jams that could have been cut during the Travel-Log sessions. It's a steamy, minor-key shuffle with tastefully layered strings for ballast and atmosphere. Cale's guitar break makes it plain just how much he influenced both Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. "Tell Daddy" is a jazzy take on Cale's shuffle, with lovely piano work and Django Reinhardt-inspired guitars. "Long About Sundown" is a wide-open boogie that prefaces the seamless fusion of blues and norte?o on the wonderful "Maria." Stay Around is free of filler. It is so consistently fine, it is the great unreleased Cale album. For fans this is the holy grail, but it's also an excellent introduction for the uninitiated. Not to be greedy, but let's hope this is not a one-off. We can never have too much J.J. Cale. ~ Thom Jurek

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop

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