J.J. Cale

After Midnight: The Best of J.J. Cale

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With his laconic vocal style and a guitar style that matched it in depth, tone, and weariness, all laid over easy, loping shuffle rhythms, J.J. Cale also happened to be a heck of a songwriter, and he established less a persona with his approach than his own brand of blues roots rock, and he stuck to it throughout his career, never adjusting or deviating for the pop market. All of this means his recorded output is remarkably consistent, as this 18-track set of Cale's hit and signature songs clearly shows. The big ones are here, including "Crazy Mama," "Call Me the Breeze," "Magnolia," "After Midnight," and "Cocaine," and they portray an artist who knew exactly what he did well and then did it, no matter what storms were swirling around in the tides of pop culture.

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