Thursday, September 1, 2016

40 Year Itch : One Way Ticket to Ecstasy

J.J. Cale : Travelin' Light

In September of 1976 the reclusive Tulsa singer /songwriter J.J. Cale released Troubadour, his fourth album of catchy, shuffling, bluesy tracks highlighted by "Cocaine" which became, like Cale's "After Midnight",  a huge radio hit for Eric Clapton. 
The critics have complained that Cale's albums are indistinguishable. Well, among his biggest fans, the versatile Troubadour is usually either their favorite album or pretty damn close.

I really like this album, especially the first single, "Travelin' Light",  which has a groove that disco prince Bohannon would call "Foot Stompin' Music". (Clapton also covered this tune as did Widespread Panic.) Troubadour's appeal is immediate and will likely last the rest of your life.

Cale also experiments with new instruments. Horns on "Hey Baby", a vibraphone on "Travelin' Light" and an ARP synthesizer on "You Got Something".  But it all goes back to that mellow groove, understated singing and fine guitar playing.

1 comment:

  1. Let the critics complain - this is a damn good record. Thanks for bringing it back to my memory