JJ Cale - Roll On

And, for once, moving it on

If Benjamin Franklin were alive
today he might add another of
life’s certainties to his pairing of
death and taxes – the certainty
of a JJ Cale album sounding
exactly like a JJ Cale album. Up
until now he’d have been right;
after all, why mess with a sound
that you have patented to the
degree that “Calesque” should
be an accepted adjective? But
at the ripe old age of 70 the
boogameister has decided to
branch out.

It’s jazzy! It’s brassy! It’s
old timey! This is the big news
about Roll On. Certainly there’s
enough Calesque DNA
remaining to ensure that no
one could be left in doubt
about the author of this work,
but he’s added new colours to
the established template. Opener Who Knew is a loping
jazz ballad, followed by Former
Me, in more of a piano-lounge
vein. Cale taps into older
traditions with Strange Days,
featuring a banjo accompaniment,
and Leaving In The Morning
that has a highly evocative
pedal steel part – though one
of the things it evokes is Treat
Your Children Well. Then there’s
Eric Clapton, who contributes a
nice bit of lead to Roll On: if
only he did this kind of thing all
the time…

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Because | 0287

Reviewed by Tim Holmes
<< Back to Issue 362

You might also like: