Skip to main content

Blues Rock Review: Eric Clapton and Friends-The Breeze-An Appreciation of J.J. Cale

Release Date: July 29, 2014
Label: Bushbranch Surfdog

When it comes to guitarist, it is hard to do better than Eric Clapton.  Some might say there is no one better.  The former member of influential bands such as The Yardbirds and Cream, Clapton has come together with other music stars to pay tribute to a fallen friend.  J.J. Cale was a singer and song writer, who was one of the founders and main driving force behind what is known as the Tulsa sound, a mix of jazz, blues, rock, and country.  His songs have been covered by the likes of Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Phish, John Mayer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Johnny Cash.  

A year after he died of heart failure in 2013 at the age of 74, Eric Clapton gathered other music greats to pay their respects by covering Cale’s songs.  Joining Clapton on this album are Tom Petty, Mark Knoplfer, Don White, John Mayer, Derek Trucks, and Willie Nelson.  

Eric Clapton takes the reigns solo on the first track. “Call Me the Breeze” is not only the perfect song to open this album, but it is also the perfect introduction to the music and sound of J.J. Cale.  From the very beginning, it is simply enchanting, and captures exactly what Cale meant when he referred to his style of music as “laid back.”  Its carefree attitude makes it a choice selection in these end of summer days.  Tom Petty joins Clapton on “Rock and Roll Records,” making for a smooth and pleasant song. Clapton and John Mayer come together for the bluesy “Lies.”

Don White adds a sensual atmosphere to the low-key “Sensitive Kind.”  Clapton returns for a great rendition of “Cajun Moon.” It has some pop and sizzle to it and brings the tempo back up.  Twinging with a sense of melancholy, “Magnolia” is an emotional, heartbreaking love song.  Petty and Clapton bring the mood back up with some wonder guitar harmony on “I Got the Same Old Blues.”  “Songbird” is a remarkable, standout song thanks to the distinct and powerful vocals of Willie Nelson.

Clapton and White share vocal duties on “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me),” a hopping up-beat country song.  Tom Petty does his best to steal the show on “The Old Man and Me” with his quiet, whispery vocals.  Mark Knopfler, White, and Clapton make their case for best song on the album with the lively and harmonious “Train to Nowhere.”  It also has a killer harmonica on it.  Mayer returns one last time on “Don’t Wait” for some searing guitar work. Featuring Derek Trucks and Christine Cale, “Crying Eyes” brings the album on home for a strong finish.    

Eric Clapton and Friends’ The Breeze (An Appreciation of J.J. Cale) is a wonderful album and tribute to a fallen friend.  It does its job of not only honoring the man’s life work, but it also the type of album that can bring in a new generation of fans.  This album is truly a labor of love done by friends. 

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Call Me the Breeze, Songbird, Train to Nowhere

01.Call Me The Breeze
02.Rock and Roll Records
05.Sensitive Kind
06.Cajun Moon
08.I Got The Same Old Blues
10.Since You Said Goodbye
11.I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)
12.The Old Man and Me
13.Train to Nowhere
15.Don’t Wait
16.Crying Eyes 

Brian McKinnon

August 27, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …