Tribute to J J Cale
Vol. 2: The Instrumental Sessions
Miscellaneous Artists

Release Date: August 10, 2010
Selection #: ZM 201008
UPC Code: 880956100821
Availability: Worldwide


1. Crazy Mama 3:28
2. Cocaine 4:09
3. Don’t Cry Sister 3:02
4. Cajun Moon 3:42
5. Same Old Blues 3:38
6. Don’t Cry Sister 3:02
7. Any Way The Wind Blows 3:06
8. Lies 3:14

9. Don’t Wait 3:04
10. Money Talks 4:45
11. Louisiana Women 5:27
12. Travelin’ Light 3:33
13. Ride Me High 3:13

Bonus track :
14. Down To Memphis 2:44

Tracks 1 – 2: Rufus Huff
Greg Martin: guitars; Dean Smith: bass guitar; Chris Hardesty: drums; Jarrod England: quick wit and English-isms. Arranged by Rufus Huff. Produced by David Barrick & Rufus Huff. Engineered by David Barrick, at Barrick Recording Studio, Glasgow, KY.

Tracks 3 – 5: Swamp Cabbage
Walter Parks: guitar; Matt Lindsey: bass; Jagoda: drums. Arranged by Walter Parks. Tracks 3 recorded at Quad Studio in Nashville. Engineered and produced by Mills Logan. Tracks 4 and 5 recorded at the Jersey Statuary, Jersey City, NJ. Produced and engineered by Walter Parks.

Track 6
Walter Parks: guitar. Recorded at the Jersey Statuary, Jersey City, NJ. Produced and engineered by Walter Parks.

Tracks 7 and 8: Dixie Tabernacle
Doug Phelps: bass guitar; Lead & rhythm guitar, banjo, tambourine; Larry Goad: drums, shakers, banjo; Bruce Pearson: lead & rhythm guitar; Jim "Turbo" Kirby: piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ. Engineered by Larry Goad. Mixed and produced by Larry Goad & Doug Phelps. Recorded at Abbey Goad Studios, Madison, TN.

Track 9
Greg Skaff: acoustic and slide guitar. Footstomps: Greg Skaff, Darryl Jones & Charley Drayton. Guitar tracks recorded at Little World Studios by Ric Molina. Mixed at The Groovehouse, Nashville, by Tim Smith. Produced by Greg Skaff.

Track 10
Greg Skaff: guitar; Darryl Jones: electric bass; Mike Finnigan: organ; Charley Drayton: drums. Recorded at 1 East Recording, NYC by Yohei Goto. Guitar tracks recorded at Little World Studios, NYC by Ric Molina. Mixed at The Groovehouse, Nashville, by Tim Smith. Produced by Greg Skaff.

Tracks 11 and 12
Michael Powers: all guitars, and bass guitar. All other instruments are played electronically, using Apple computers, by Producer / Engineers Lee Boice on Track 11, and Eric R. Durham, Sr. on Track 12.

Track 13: Tim and Roddy Smith’s Groove Gang
Tim Smith: bass; Roddy Smith: guitars; Abe Stoklasa: dobro; Billy Contreras: violin; Ray Von Rotz: drums. Recorded and mixed at The Groovehouse, Nashville, by Tim Smith. Produced by Tim Smith.

Track 14: Doug Phelps & Larry Goad
Doug Phelps: vocals and bass guitar; Larry Goad: drums & percussion; Bruce Pearson: guitars; Jim ?Turbo? Kirby: keyboards. Produced by Larry Goad & Doug Phelps. Engineered by Larry Goad. Mixed by Larry Goad & Doug Phelps. Recorded at Abbey Goad Studios, Madison, TN.

When the history of American Rock, Blues and Roots music of the late 20th century and beyond will be written, there is no doubt that Oklahoma-born songwriter, singer and guitarist J J Cale will be a significant chapter in it. Born in Oklahoma City in 1938 but raised in Tulsa, J J moved to L.A. in 1964 to pursue a music career, together with fellow Oklahomans Leon Russell and Carl Radle. One of his earliest gigs was a brief stint with the still unkown Delanie and Bonnie.

1970 became a break-out year for JJ when Eric Clapton covered one of his early songs “After Midnight” making it a US Top 20 hit, thus providing J J with needed exposure. In 1971, JJ released his first LP “Naturally” on Shelter Records which contained his versions of several classic Cale songs including “Crazy Mama” and “Call Me the Breeze”. His first record immediately established the inimitable, laid-back and rootsy J J Cale style which remained his trademark for his entire later career.

Cale has become a huge influence on the adult oriented roots rock of Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, and many others. His songs have been famously covered not only by Eric Clapton, but also by Lynrd Skynrd , The Band, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Santana, to name a few. His many collaborations with Eric Clapton in particular have been highly successful: their collaborative 2006 CD release “The Road to Escondido” won a GRAMMY in the “Best Contemporary Blues Album” category in 2008!

When ZOHO proposed the idea of creating a “Tribute to J J Cale” recording to the label’s artists and their musical friends, no coaxing or convincing was necessary – such was the respect, admiration, enthusiasm and love for his highly distinctive and memorable songwriting. This “Volume 2 - The Instrumental Sessions” presents 14 of J J’s songs in a variety of instrumental settings, from acoustic solo guitar versions over rootsy, contemporary Americana-styled re-interpretations all the way to the roof-rattling, arena size hard rock of the two opening tracks by Rufus Huff.

Named after two obscure bluesmen, Whistlin' Rufus and Luther Huff, the Glasgow, Kentucky based quartet is led by guitarist Greg Martin, known to many as the lead guitarist of leading Country Rock outfit The Kentucky HeadHunters. Rufus Huff are contributing incendiary versions of “Crazy Mama” and “Cocaine”, both early 1970s J J Cale hits. - Rufus’ 2009 ZOHO debut release “Rufus Huff” was described as “a sexy blend of early ZZ Top, a hint of Sly and the Family Stone, topped off with just the right amount of Cream.”

The next four tracks on this compilation are united by the brilliant arranging skills and re-creative powers of Walter Parks, guitarist, lead vocalist and leader of Swamp Cabbage, the Northern Florida swamp rock guitar trio. Walter Parks formed Swamp Cabbage in 2001 as a means of exploring his southern musical influences and sharing his interpretations of them. Walter’s electric guitar style is a mélange of Scott Joplin’s ragtime and Jerry Reed’s bayou pickin’. Matt Lindsey’s bass barks like a tuba through a fuzz box and Jagoda drums like he’s leadin’ a New Orleans funeral parade. On Swamp Cabbage’s 2008 ZOHO ROOTS label debut “Squeal”, the trio offered a rousing, comedic travelogue through Walter’s North Florida upbringing, laced with trailer-trash funk and ZZ Top-style electric blues boogie.

“Don’t Cry Sister”, “Cajun Moon” and “Same Old Blues” gives you Swamp Cabbage straight up, featuring Walter Parks’ highly evocative lead guitar work in front of dense tapestries of grooves which are deeply drenched in traditional Southern Blues roots. “Sensitive Kind” shines like a diamond in Walter’s spare, moody acoustic guitar treatment.

The songs “Any Way the Wind Blows” and “Lies” were contributed and recorded by Nashville-based studio band “Dixie Tabernacle”. It is another offshoot of the Kentucky HeadHunters, featuring their current vocalist and bassist Doug Phelps. Co-principal and co-producer of Dixie Tabernacle is Larry Goad, a longtime working musician who currently produces artists out of his own Abbey Goad Studios in Nashville. Both tracks exude a breezy Country Rock flavor complete with multiple keyboards, and layers of guitar tracks. Doug and Larry also collaborated on “Down to Memphis”, a recent J J Cale song from his 2009 CD release “Roll On” – which is added as a vocal bonus track at the end of this CD.

We are now temporarily leaving the South for the next four tracks, to listen in on New York City-based artists’ takes on J J’s music: Greg Skaff, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is a Harlem, NY based jazz guitarist and composer. After moving to New York in the early 1980s, Skaff’s first professional gig was with the legendary Stanley Turrentine. The sax master was so impressed with Skaff’s playing that he kept the young guitarist in his employ for the next five years. Following his tenure with Turrentine, Skaff has gone on to make his mark as a bandleader and as a sideman with Ruth Brown, Freddie Hubbard, David “Fathead” Newman, and Bobby Watson, among others.

On his second ZOHO CD release “East Harlem Skyline” (2009), Greg Skaff reached new heights as a guitarist and composer in what the New Jersey Star-Ledger called “a vibrant view of the modern day jazz guitar-organ-drums trio.” The CD included guest spots by heavy hitters Darryl Jones on bass (Rolling Stones, Sting) and Charley Drayton on drums (Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop). Both are back on Greg’s version of “Money Talks” which also features Mike Finnegan (Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart) on organ. On the soulful “Don’t Wait”, Greg takes it down to acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and asoft background foot-stomp, achieving a Southern “front porch” authenticity of mood which is remarkable.

Harlem based blues guitarist and singer Michael Powers was taught his first guitar chord by bluesman Jimmy Reed. During his high school summers, he toured with James Cotton's Band. Later, Michael formed "Moonbeam", a band which stayed together for 13 years, performing all over the country, opening for James Brown, Bo Diddley, the Ronettes, and others. Michael's two solo Blues CD's received five (Memphis) Blues Music Award nominations, at whose Awards Gala event Michael has performed twice. When not touring global Blues and Rock festivals, Michael and his band hold a residency at Terra Blues, New York’s leading Blues club on legendary Bleeker Street, in Greenwich Village. Michael’s instrumental versions of “Louisiana Women” and “Travelin’ Light” feature his trademark blistering Hendrix- and Clapton-style electric guitar workouts.

Following our Harlem sojourn, we are returning once again to Nashville with Tim & Roddy Smith’s Groove Gang, the acoustic side project to their already well established “electric” project – the Mr Groove Band. Bassist / producer Tim Smith and his brother, guitarist Roddy Smith, have already enriched ZOHO’s catalog with three historic productions surrounding Bonnie Bramlett (2006), Boots Randolph (2007) and the Tribute to Ike Turner (2009). ZOHO is thrilled to welcome them back with their marvelous, classic bluegrass fiddle, dobro and guitar treatment of JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High”.

Joachim “Jochen” Becker

Tracks 1 – 14: Mastering by Fernando Martinez, Estudio MOMA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Additional mastering by Kessler Media, Katonah, NY. Compilation producer: Joachim “Jochen” Becker. Package Design: Chris Drukker.