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JJ Cale

By Derek Halsey
October 2004

J.J. Cale is one of the most famous songwriters in history, yet he can walk down the street and not be recognized by anyone. Eric Clapton was asked in an interview not long ago about which other musician in the world he admired most, and Clapton said “J. J. Cale.” You have heard his songs, sung his songs, and maybe have even played his songs. Yet, J.J. Cale is an unassuming and down-to-earth musician who only puts out albums of his own about six years or so. He is also a heck of a guitarist, and his story is an interesting one.

J.J. Cale grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was a friend to other Tulsa area musicians of the day such as Leon Russell. He was playing in bands by the 1950’s, and then went west with Leon to California in the early 1960’s. There, while Leon went on to be a much in demand studio musician, J.J.  focused on being a recording engineer. But, he still performed and recorded his own songs along the way. One day Eric Clapton heard one of J.J. ’s 45-rpm records and decided to record the song himself. Eric Clapton’s version of J.J.’s “After Midnight” was an instant hit, and still is to this day.

It is because other people have had hits with his songs that J.J. Cale’s been able to do things his way. With tunes like “Call Me The Breeze” being a hit for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other originals such as “Cocaine,” “Crazy Mama,” and “Magnolia” being recorded by many other musicians, J.J. has been able to stay out of the limelight. Says J.J. , “I’m not a showbiz kind of guy. I had the passion to do music as much as anybody. But I never wanted to be the patsy up front. And I still don’t want to be famous.” And so, the royalty checks come in while J.J.  kicks back and lets the other guys take the heat of fame.

I came to J.J.  in a different way, through his 1981 album Shades, a great example of that smooth but rocking Cale sound. Now, after an eight-year absence, he has a new studio album out with To Tulsa And Back, on Sanctuary Records. I talked to J. J.  on the phone from his southern California home. Even though I knew he would rather being doing something else, I had a great time talking to a musician that has influenced a lot more folks than just me.

Howdy J.J., good to talk with you, although I’m sure this isn’t your favorite thing to do.

Oh yeah. (Laughing). You’re hip to me then, huh? Well, the one thing I hate about interviews, man, is that it is a one-way conversation, and it’s always about me. And, I don’t ever learn anything, you know? Half of them are not conversations, but just answering questions. And, I don’t mind that, it’s part of the business. Part of the hype. It gets tiring after a while.

Well brother, we prefer to do it in a conversational style rather than peppering folks with questions. Besides, you’re lucky enough to get to take a break from these interviews for a few years in-between records.

Oh yeah, thanks to a bunch of people cutting my songs, man. So I can go, ‘I don’t think I’ll work this year.’ (Laughing)

You have been living in California for a lot of years. Have you had to deal with any fires out your way recently?

We had some bad ones. I live down here around San Diego, and we had some bad ones last fall. I loaded up the car and pointed it out the driveway because I thought it was coming over the hill. It burned up a lot of people’s houses. It was the worst fires I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived out here in California, off and on, for the last 30 years. We are in a real serious drought here now, and I look for them to start rationing water pretty soon.

We have droughts here in Cincinnati every once in a while, but not often.

Is that where you are at, Cincinnati? I passed through the area, but I didn’t get to Ohio. I just got off tour. I’m fried. About 35 one-nighters, spent 13,000 miles on a bus. I’ve been gone two months, which is the longest tour I’ve ever done. I generally go out about two weeks and call it quits.

I am sure you know Cincinnati from King Records being based here back in the day, Freddie King’s “Hideaway” and so on.

Oh, yes.  I played a gig with Freddie King in Monterey, California in 1978, 1977 maybe. So, I am very aware of everything coming out of Cincinnati.

Your career reminds me a lot of another musician I was lucky enough to know a little bit is John Hartford. He had a hit with “Gentle On My Mind,” and a ton of other people recorded it and it set him up financially so that he could do things the way he wanted to in the music business.

I played a gig with him too, man, right before he died. I was playing a small joint in New York, the Bottom Line down in Greenwich Village, and John was playing there the next night. His bus rolled up and he came in the joint during my gig, and I had him up onstage and got him to play. I did some recordings of him and I, and John Hammond, all jamming together. I loved John. Number one, I’m a songwriter, and ‘Gentle On My Mind’ was a masterpiece.

I was just reminded the other day, that John Hartford played on a Delany and Bonnie album called Motel Shot. You played with Delaney and Bonnie as well. Was John hanging around when you were playing with them?

No. When I was playing with Delaney and Bonnie they were just starting out. I left them and wasn’t with them anymore when they got big, when Eric Clapton and George Harrison joined their deal. I was playing a gig with Delaney and Bonnie, it was in a house in Los Angeles and we were all stoned out of our heads. We were playing house parties and nightclubs. Right after that Harrison and Clapton and Leon Russell took my place, and they made a record and got semi-big, especially with the English. I haven’t seen Delaney in quite a while. I saw Delaney, he still lives up in L.A., I visited him probably 15 years ago. I haven’t seen Bonnie in many years. I played a gig opening for the Allman Brothers in the 70’s and Bonnie was singing with them. That was the last time I saw her, about 30 years ago.

Bonnie has been real good to us here at Gritz magazine, and she is still out there rockin’. And, her daughter is out there singing as well.

Oh yeah, I’m hip to Bekka. It seems like I saw Bekka with somebody….Faith Hill. She was singing backup with Faith Hill. I saw her on TV.

Your songwriting has been good to you, and that is to your credit.

That’s where I’ve been real lucky. I’m not that well-known or anything, but a bunch of people that cut my songs have kept me from having to work for a living. My records don’t sell that much, except in Europe, for some reason or another. If I had to make a living on the records I actually sell, I’d be in real trouble. I’d be driving a truck or selling shoes.

One interesting cover of one of your songs was the version of “After Midnight” recorded by the bluegrass group Seldom Scene.

Yeah, I know John Starling. I lived in Nashville for about 10 years. Paul Craft, you know who he is? Paul Craft and I got to be cronies. I was a big fan of his, some of the songs he wrote just laid me out, and through him I met Seldom Scene. They kind of worked out of the Washington DC area. So, I got acquainted with them and one day somebody gave me an album and they cut one of my tunes, and it really made my day. They were a little more contemporary than a lot of bluegrass bands.

You worked behind the boards yourself as a producer and recording engineer back in the early 1960’s. The reason I bring that up is that there is a great documentary movie out now about the late but great music producer Tom Dowd called The Language Of Music.

Dowd was very innovative and affected the way music was recorded over the years.

Oh really? Where did you get that? I need to get a copy of that. I met Tom Dowd one time. And, I’m very familiar with what he did.

Tom Dowd, man, he produced all of those Ray Charles records.

Dowd also brought the eight-track recording technology into the mix…

Oh yeah.

….and I know you were an engineer…

Oh Yeah.

…and you had to work with a four track, if I remember right.

Oh yeah. (Laughing) That’s why I’m a big fan of Tom Dowd’s because I’m known as a songwriter, guitarist, singer, all that kind of stuff, but I made my living as an engineer for a lot of years, and Tom Dowd was at the top of the list of influences. He was great. When I started actually doing engineering for a living, it was four-track. We used to have two four-tracks, and we would record stuff on one four-track and transfer it over to the other one, and over-dub that way. Four-track was the thing, and then eight-track came in right after that, real close, in the 60’s. Round knobs, it wasn’t sliders. And, the knobs were as big as your hand, you know? When you bumped the volume up or down you moved your whole arm, because it wasn’t the little bitty knobs that they got now. They were the size of a softball, really. And then sliders came out.

I recently wrote up Leon Russell and did not know that he fronted a band when he was a teenager that played on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis for a couple of years back in the 1950’s. Both of you guys grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  How old were you when you first met Leon?

We used to play gigs around the Tulsa area. He was the up and coming piano player. And, like all towns, the musicians interchange. ‘Hey, do you wanna play this gig tonight? It pays ten bucks and all the beer you can drink.’ And then Leon and the rest went out to California. Leon got a job working with Ricky Nelson, so he was in what we called ‘the big time.’ Then he moved into session work, and then bought some recording equipment, bought a four-track. He and I would get in there and play like we were Les Paul. Yeah, I spent some time with Leon. He is a couple of years younger than I am. The thing about Leon was that he could read music. Many of us guitar players, and blues players, and country players, we didn’t know one note from another. So Leon was the one that got in on the sessions in LA. Put a chart in front of me and I’d go, ‘Oh God,’ me and James Burton.

James Burton, who played with Elvis for a while, is a hell of a guitar player. He played on some albums of yours, I believe.

Yeah, James and I got acquainted when I first went out to California. James was from Louisiana, and he was on the Ricky Nelson TV show, which we thought was the big time back then, and it was. Ricky Nelson was huge. We became friends, and every once in awhile I’d see him in the studio. So, yes, I put him on one of the albums I made years later.

You have had some excellent steel guitar players on your albums over the years. Buddy Emmons and Lloyd Green to name two.

Yeah, and Weldon Myrick. Audie Ashworth, who produced those first eight albums that we did in Nashville, he would get those guys. I took Buddy Emmons on the road for a while. Buddy Emmons was the kind of guy that would play with anybody, and could play anything. We would be at a gig and Buddy would set up his steel guitar and start playing. I would say, ‘Pick one, Buddy,’ and he’d start playing and he was so astronomical that we’d look at him and almost quit playing. With Buddy you kind of stood back and let him do whatever it is he wanted to do. He was an amazing steel guitar player. He was way ahead of everyone else. A very technical guy, he was constantly working on his steel trying to get a new sound out of it, trying the latest gizmo, trying to modify his guitar. He would be doing that on an airplane, he was always drawing up diagrams to do an electronic thing on his steel guitar.

On the 1973 album called Really you used a couple of the greats of bluegrass music in Uncle Josh Graves and Vassar Clements. What was that like?

That was one of the highlights of my life, man. We recorded that out at Bradley’s Barn, and I was a big fan of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. And, of course, Josh was the Dobro player on that stuff, and Vassar was ‘Mister bluegrass fiddle player,’ and both of those guys came out to the studio and played that day. They were like Buddy Emmons in the studio; they were so good you just kind of quit playing and dug what they were playing. Yeah, Vassar’s great, and so is Josh. Josh is really a nice guy.

Did you ever play much Dobro guitar?

No, I had a Regal guitar, but I set it up to play it standard style. It’s not a squareneck Dobro. I’ve fooled around at times with a lap steel guitar, and messed with a pedal steel a couple of times, but I was around so many great Dobro players that I didn’t want to get into their territory. The guy out there now, Jerry Douglas, he originally played with a group called The Whites. That is before he got famous and everyone wanted him to play on their records. I never have met him, but when he was playing with the Whites I was living in Nashville and they had a gospel TV show. And I said, ‘That Dobro player is going to go places, man.’ And he did.

You did some recording with some of the famous Muscle Shoals studio musicians. What was that like?

We went down there, and I spent one day down there, and I recorded in the old, big studio with Jimmy Johnson and the guys. Barry Beckett. And then we recorded over at another small eight-track studio, I don’t know whose studio that was, and we got two recordings out of that. I was only there one day. I’ll tell you where I originally met those guys, when I first put out the Naturally album the record company got me a gig opening for a group called Traffic. They were an English group, playing pop rock, and there was about two or three thousand people in the place, and they hired the Muscle Shoals guys to back them up. That is where I met those guys. They always said, ‘C’mon down to our place and record. Come down to Muscle Shoals.’ So, years later, or a year or so later, I went down there and cut two or three sides with Beckett and those guys.

You recorded “After Midnight” on the Naturally album after Eric Clapton had a hit with it. Was that version of the song cut the way you always wanted to record it, or did you think you had to do it different since Clapton’s version was so popular?

The history on that deal was, the original ‘After Midnight’ I recorded was on Liberty Records on a 45-rpm, and it was fast. That was about 1967-68, maybe 69. I can’t remember exactly. But that was the original ‘After Midnight,’ and that is what Clapton heard. If you listen to Eric Clapton’s record, what he did was imitate that. No one heard that first version I made of it. I tried to give the thing away, until he cut it and made it popular. So, when I recorded the Naturally album Denny Cordell, who ran Shelter Records at the time, and I had already finished the album, he said, ‘John, why don’t you put ‘After Midnight’ on there because that is what people recognize you for?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve already got that on Liberty Records, and Eric Clapton’s already cut it, so if I’m going to do it again I’m going to do it slow.

You were a part of that huge Crossroads Guitar Festival that Eric Clapton put on this summer down in Dallas. Did you enjoy that?

What a trip that was, man. That was the reason I went on tour. I took that gig, and when I took that gig the booking agency put on 35 more gigs with it. I got to meet Santana. Of course, I used to open for ZZ Top back in the 70’s. Sonny Curtis was there, I’m a big fan of his. James Burton was there, I got to see James. Joe Osborne, the bass player, I got to meet Pat Metheny, Steve Vai. Sonny Landreth was there. I worked a gig with Sonny up in Canada. It was a guitar player’s delight, man. It was just one great guitar player after another. Everyone played about 30 minutes. It went on for three days. I got to see some guys I haven’t seen in a long time, and I got to meet some guitar players that I never met before.

The new album is great. I’ve been digging on that Cale groove that you always hit.

Alright. Thank you, man.

I recently watched a PBS show on the great composer Richard Rogers, and it featured an interview with him where he was asked about how he wrote songs. He said that songs rarely came to him out of the blue, from inspiration, but that he had to sit down and work at it. How does songwriting happen for you?

I’ve had songs that just come out of the air, and it was over, and I wrote the words down, and I’d go, ‘Where did that come from?’ Because I was an engineer I wrote a lot in the studio. There is one thing I never did; I’m not a poet, so I never wrote the words out and then tried to put music to it. I’d always come up with the music first and then put the words to it, or write the music and the words on the guitar at the same time.  Some of the songs were a labor of love, some of the songs I had no idea why I wrote them. And, some of the songs I worked on forever. And a lot of them I worked on forever and they never came out, thank God. You name it, I’ve written that way, in studios, in the living room, on busses. ‘After Midnight’ was an instrumental track. I cut about four tracks, and I left it alone there for about six months, and then I went back in and wrote the words to it. But I have never written the words first and then put music to it.

The first cut on the new To Tulsa And Back CD, “My Gal,” features that classic JJ Cale slow burn of a groove. It’s great.

Well, that’s Jimmy Karstein playing drums on that. The drums had a lot to do with it. That particular song I wrote in Nashville many years ago. When I got ready to make the album, I didn’t re-write it, but I just used the words from it. The original demo sounds nothing like that. And we did it in that kind of rhythm and blues kind of bag, you know? That was the only old song, everything else I’ve written in the last year or so.

The cool thing about this song is that you play a little wah-wah guitar on it.

Yeah, I bought a new wah-wah pedal. I got to where, on my gigs, I wouldn’t put any gizmos in-between me and the amplifier because they would always break, and I would stand there embarrassed on stage. So I quit playing with any gimmicks. I used to play wah-wah many years ago, but I kind of got tired of it. Everybody was playing wah-wah everywhere, then it kind of faded out. So, I put some wah-wah on this album, I guess out of boredom. (Laughs)

You also went back to the hometown and brought in some local Tulsa musicians that you knew from the old days to play on this album.

Yes, I went back to see Steve Ripley, and the rest are all from Tulsa. What the deal is, we had a BBQ there on a Sunday and we invited everybody there that I used to know out that day. And, there are about two or three cuts with about 13 or 14 musicians on it. I cut a whole lot more stuff than we put on the record. There are only five tunes on there from the Tulsa sessions. Walt Richmond, Don White. I used to play guitar for Don.  When I came back from California broke, Don gave me a job. He was a country singer-songwriter and he is really good. You know when country music went from strictly country to country boogie? I guess like Garth Brooks, when country started to sound more like rock and roll? Don was doing that before anybody. He went to Nashville for a while. He is up there around my age, and he’s got a couple of songs that would kill you, man. It is an independent thing, kind of a local Tulsa thing, and no one will ever hear it.

Why has so much good music come out of Tulsa over the years?

Well, it’s a good music town. It never paid anything, so the first thing these musicians did after they learned their craft was get the hell out of there. Because it was one of those ten dollars on Friday and Saturday night-all the beer you can drink things and that was the extent of the business there at the time. So, everybody went to LA in the 60’s. But there isn’t no more a ‘Tulsa sound’ than there is a ‘Cincinnati sound.’ I mean, every town has got some musicians that have done pretty good. I think that was a marketing tool, so they could figure out how to market me. ‘He’s in the Tulsa sound.’  Leon did good, David Gates of Bread did pretty good. But, a lot of the sidemen musicians there are joint players, blues players, and so on.

I got a Tulsa story for you J.J.; back in the middle 1940’s Bill Monroe had a member of his band named Sally Anne Forester. She played the accordion, believe it or not, and sang and was on those first eight sides that Monroe recorded for Columbia Records. And, she was in Monroe’s band for three months at the same time as Earl Scruggs. She grew up there in Oklahoma and got the music bug by going to some Bob Wills concerts at the Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa with her grandpa in the 1930’s. So, a connection can be made between Bob Wills in Tulsa and the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe.

Oh wow. Well, you’ve done some research to come up with that, man. I just played Cain’s, and I hadn’t played there in 30 years. I hadn’t played in Tulsa in a long time. We played Cain’s and they had a big picture of Bob Wills in there. Some doctor put about a million dollars into it and restored the whole ballroom. It doesn’t look like it did when I played there, which was after Bob Wills played there, of course. Western swing was still big, but rock and roll had taken over. I played with a couple of western bands there on Wednesday and Friday night. And then the Grand Ole Opry guys would come in and we’d back them up. It was the Grand Ole Opry Show and everyone did 15 minutes. It was Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, the Louvin Brothers, and the Cajun guy, Jimmy C. Newman. And, then they took us on the road, and we played schoolhouses in Montana and stuff. We’re talking about only two weeks. 

How they got on to us was those guys would come into Cain’s and a lot of those guys didn’t carry a band. They would use the local bands. So, word got out that we were a pretty good western swing band. I was just a guitar player then. We had a steel guitar and piano and bass and drums. Benny Ketchum was the guy that ran the Cain’s band. We were expected to know their tunes. If you played in a western swing band you knew ‘Heartaches By The Number,’ because you did it every night as a cover band. The only question was what key was he going to do it in. That is how the Grand Ole Opry guys discovered Benny Ketchum and his western swing band. It was the last remnants of it, rock and roll was taking over and this was the last hoorah of Cain’s western swing music.

But, we wore hats and kerchiefs, and they made us wear cowboy boots, uniforms and stuff. It was back when bands had uniforms. Everybody dressed alike, and I was only 22, 23 years old. Dickey Overby (steel guitar) was the star instrumentalist. He eventually got a job working with Ronnie Milsap. I knew Ronnie early on. I used to work in Atlanta, and before Ronnie was doing country music he was doing rhythm and blues in Memphis, and I backed up Ronnie for a couple of months. He got huge after that, and I’ve talked to him a couple of times since then. We go way back.

There is some good fiddle playing on the new album.

That kid, Shelby Eicher, is really good. David Teegarden, (of Teegarden and Van Winkle band fame from the 1960’s and producer of JJ’s album) found a lot of the old guys, but we didn’t have any fiddle players. So, David came up with Shelby, he’s not that old. I just played in Boulder, Colorado about two weeks ago and…do you know the band Beausoleil? Michael Doucet, the fiddle player for Beausoleil, sat in with us and he was asking about who played fiddle on that record. I said that I really didn’t know, he is a local Tulsa fiddle player. Shelby also played mandolin, and he was real good.

The song “Stone River” seems to be about the water shortage out west where you are. 

Yeah, out west the drought out here is bad. People say, ‘Why do you got to live in Nevada or California or Arizona?’ I just played back east and it rained almost everyday, but out here, California has been in a drought for five years. It won’t be long before water is going to cost as much as oil. That’s strictly a western Unites States kind of thing.

The last song on the album, “Another Song,” features you and a banjo. When did you learn how to play the banjo?

I have not learned how to play it, and I’m embarrassed about that cut. I’m a shade tree banjo player. I’ve always noodled on the banjo, but never in public or in front of anybody. It’s something I like to do. I wrote that song here in the kitchen, man. I had my DAT recorder on and my mic set up, and everybody at the record company liked the song so I let them go ahead and put it out. But, the banjo playing is pretty bad, so I don’t want to talk about no banjo playing.”

Who do you admire, as far as banjo players go?

Well, Earl Scruggs, of course. And I was a big admirer of John Hartford. He used to play banjo and write songs. Bela Fleck is good, he’s real modern. You have to like jazz to appreciate him. I’ve met Bela. I remember when he was with the New Grass Revival.

And New Grass Revival played on that live album with Leon Russell.

Yeah, that’s how I came in, through Leon. I really liked the guitar player in that band, Pat Flynn. When they split up, I don’t know what happened to him, but I thought he was an exceptional guitar player. He wouldn’t necessarily blow you away with his licks, but I liked his whole approach with the guitar. And, I like some of the old guys. I really like Uncle Dave Macon. He was one of my favorites, the first big banjo star.

I have a guitar question for you; I heard a story about Peter Frampton trying to buy a guitar from you at a gig once back in the 1970’s. Is that true? 

He did. About 1975 I was playing the Roxy in LA. He was playing in town, and that is when he had that ‘talking box’ record out. He was real young, and he had a hit record, and I was playing the local Hollywood bar, the Roxy, there on Sunset Strip. He came on down and got up on stage and played with me. I’ve got a tape of it somewhere. In fact, Waylon Jennings came down the same night, man. All the big time stars would come down to the Roxy after their gigs. I had a tape recorder rolling, so somewhere in the vaults there is a tape. That is where I met Peter, and that is the only time I met him. He was real hot and he had an entourage along with him.

But didn’t he try and buy a guitar off of you that night, right there and then?

He may have……oh, my old Harmony. Oh yeah, that’s right! I had an old Harmony that I played for years. It was a $50 round hole acoustic guitar. I took the back out of it and put pickups in it. It became a Frankenstein. I turned it into an electric guitar, is what I did. I still have it, but it is a bummer because the airlines ruined it. It had a very unique sound. It’s on some of my early records. He wanted to buy it. But, it was in the days when I only had one guitar.

Groups like the Allman Brothers band and Lynyrd Skynyrd played some of your songs. Did you ever jam much with the southern rockers?

I opened for them after Duane was dead. Bonnie Bramlett was on the show, and I opened for them on one show in the 70’s in Atlanta, Georgia at a 15,000 seater.  That was the last time I seen them. I ran into Dickey once or twice, and Dickey and I were going to get to together two or three times but we never did. And, I was going to go out on tour with Skynyrd, but when they were on tour I wasn’t, and when I was on tour they weren’t, and so on.

Do you ever do any fishing out there in California?

There is not much water in southern California. (Laughs) My fishing days, I lived in Tennessee a long time, and in Oklahoma, and my fishing days kind of quit when I moved to southern California. There are lakes here, and people fish, but I was never much on fishing on the ocean. I like to fish the creeks, that kind of thing. There are not really many creeks out here. There are man-made lakes and the ocean. But I used to fish a lot in Tennessee and Oklahoma.

I get the impression that you enjoy your lack of being a huge star, of being able to walk down the street without being bothered.

Yeah. Early on, when I was just a guitar player in a band, I would play with some famous people. Fame can be..…pretty soon you spend all of your money trying to keep private. When I am at my gig, in some local bar in Cincinnati or whatever, the people that come into the bar say, ‘Oh, that’s JJ.’ They know who I am. But that’s just at my gig, and we’re talking about two or three hundred people. Everywhere else, I live here in San Diego, and people have no idea that I’m a known songwriter, or care. (Laughs) So, I’m pretty comfortable with my life. I don’t have to dodge anybody, and I kind of like that. I’m only famous at my own gig.

The reason why I bring it up is here you were, in your hometown a couple of months ago, and the mayor of Tulsa declares it J.J. Cale Day with a plaque and everything.

That was an embarrassing thing. When we booked Cain’s Ballroom it was going to be a big deal. I invited all of my cronies to come play. I put about 15 or 17 players on stage, all the guys that I know there, you know? But right before the gig, at the sound check, we were sitting by the equipment and David Teegarden’s wife came up to me and said, ‘John, I hope you don’t mind, but the mayor’s proclaimed today ‘J.J. Cale Day.’ I was embarrassed because that’s not in my territory here. The mayor couldn’t come so he sent his daughter, and she made a presentation. So, I talked them into not going out and doing the presentation out front, I would do the presentation in the dressing room. They had a film crew there, some German guys who are trying to make a DVD. They taped five shows, started at Cain’s and then went up to Colorado with me. They got on the bus and interviewed everybody. Anyway, the Cain’s thing was a total surprise. There were a lot of people on my case there because I hadn’t played there in a long time. And I was playing for my home folks who can bust me real quick. (laughs) My Mom and Dad are both gone, but my Mom and Dad would have flipped out about that.

Be sure to visit www.jjcale.com.

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