Friday, December 6, 2019

J. J. Cale - Acoustic Sunrise, KFOG Studios, San Francisco, CA 3-17-2002

I just posted some Eric Clapton music, and that put me in the mood to post some J. J. Cale music. If you didn't know, Clapton is heavily influenced by Cale, and has covered a bunch of his songs. In fact, Cale talks about that some between songs on this recording.

I like a lot of Cale's stuff, although sometimes it gets too repetitive. However, not many non-albums tracks by him seem to exist, for whatever reason. (That's not counting a recent archival compilation called "Stay Around," which is very good, and makes a good listen by itself.) So I don't have much from him to post, but I do have this concert, and I think it's a "must have" for any fan of his music.

What makes it special is that he performed all the songs in a solo acoustic setting. (He's joined on backing vocals by his wife Christine Lakeland on some of the songs.) Solo acoustic is a good fit for him, since his music has a laid back vibe to it, but as far as I know, this is the only truly acoustic recording from him that's become available. Even then, it's a bootleg. Luckily, it was recorded by the San Francisco radio station KFOG for their morning show "Acoustic Sunrise," so the sound quality is pretty much perfect. There is an audience, but it's small in number and fairly quiet.

The only bummer about this concert is that it's fairly short. So I've added the one stray unreleased acoustic recording I have from him, a version of his song "Miss Ol' St. Louie," and I've tacked that on the end. That apparently was recorded in 2008. Even with that addition, the album is fairly short, at 37 minutes. But it's a really nice concert all the way through.

01 Cajun Moon (J. J. Cale)
02 talk (J. J. Cale)
03 Travelin' Light (J. J. Cale)
04 Louisiana Night (J. J. Cale)
05 talk (J. J. Cale)
06 Ride Me High (J. J. Cale)
07 Low Down Dirty Shame (J. J. Cale)
08 Tijuana (J. J. Cale)
09 Don't Cry Sister (J. J. Cale)
10 talk (J. J. Cale)
11 After Midnight (J. J. Cale)
12 Cocaine (J. J. Cale)
13 Call Me the Breeze (J. J. Cale)
14 End of the Line (J. J. Cale)
15 Miss Ol' St. Louie (J. J. Cale)

I randomly found the photo of Cale that I've used for the cover art. I have no idea where or when it's from. But judging by his appearance, it's from his later years. I used it because of that, plus it features him playing an acoustic guitar instead of his usual electric one.


  1. You're right, the picture of Cale was taken in his later years, at his home in Escondido, CA, where he used to live with Christine Lakeland, and next to his sister. Cale is no other the main character of my very 1st novel - Visas antérieurs - published in Europe en 1998 at Gallimard, the most renown French publishing house. In fact, it'a a kind of unauthorized biography of Cale. I discovered him in 1972 when almost nobody had never heard of him. I can tell Cale changed my life course. In 1998 he gave me the strength to write my first book and 22 years later I'm working on my 15th novel. As a Canadian writer I was offered to translate American novels into French, which I did over 60 times. I am Christopher Moore's translator, Chris being the craziest US writer of 'em all. Cale was the starting point of my modest career. Last time we met was in Montréal some 15 years ago. J.J. died on a 26th of July, which is my daughter's birthday, but also Mick Jagger's. How could I forget that date ?