With his laid-back rootsy style, J.J. Cale was best-known for writing "After Midnight" and "Cocaine," songs that Eric Clapton later made into hits. But Cale's influence wasn't only through songwriting -- his distinctly loping sense of rhythm and shuffling boogie became the blueprint for the adult-oriented roots rock of Clapton and Mark Knopfler, among others. Cale's refusal to vary the sound of his music over the course of his career caused some critics to label him as a one-trick pony, but he managed to build a dedicated following with his sporadically released recordings, several of which, including four singles between 1972 and 1976, entered the Top 100. While Naturally, his 1972 full-length, placed a respectable number 51 on the Top 200, it was The Road to Escondido, his 2006 collaborative album with Clapton, that charted highest at ...
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