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The Sippin’ Whiskey of the Blues: J.J. Cale

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 95% (4 Votes)

Eric Clapton and friends have put together a loving tribute to J.J. Cale with 2014’s The Breeze(An Appreciation of JJ Cale).  Clapton has had a long association with Cale, including hits with Cale’s “Cocaine” and “After Midnight.” The Cale-Clapton relationship went well beyond the covering of songs, however, and they put out a shared release in 2006 called The Road to Escondido—the very last album to have Billy Preston’s keyboard magic. There were many other musicians at work on that album, from John Mayer to Taj Mahjal, and The Breeze has the same range of talent.

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Changes for Dave Mason in 2014

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 90% (4 Votes)

  Is it possible for an alumnus of Traffic with a long solo career, the latter spanning from 1970 to today, to put out his best album to date in 2014? I think so.  Dave Mason’s Future’s Past is at least an equal to Alone Together, released in 1970 at the start of his solo career—and a new standard for his talent. Mason is perhaps best known for the album Let It Flow from 1977 with its hits “We Just Disagree" and “Let It Go, Let It Flow.”  Let It Flow wasn’t part of the general trend of 1977, that’s for certain, but it did have a groove and was a deservedly popular album for the time.  Future’s Past beats it outright and has potential hits of its own, though they are old potential hits.

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Not Beige--The Rolling Stones Several Years After Painting it Black

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 81% (8 Votes)

The Rolling Stones are the polarizing group of rock music, spanning centuries now, fostering geriatric jokes since the 80s, generating conflicts between otherwise sedentary music lovers. They may not be controversial for the reasons they were back in 1964 when they emerged as the bad boys of the British Invasion, but they have never ceased to generate debate, often among stoned and/or drunk people.  I remember hearing they were washed up when they put out Emotional Rescue, a weird mix of disco influenced Stones and Stones, back in 1980. Thing is, “Send it to Me” and other tunes from that album sound decently fresh today while many of the cooler works of the time sound like 80s music.

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Living Like Refugees: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2014

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 88% (11 Votes)

Hypnotic Eye, the latest from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is a variety pack that works wonderfully well.  From blues to raunchy guitar through regular rockers to some surprises—this is as solid an album as any group can muster.  Anyone expecting Damn the Torpedoes, though, should wander off elsewhere. This is very much Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2014, complete with the influences and experience they bring with them to this effort. That is a very good thing.

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