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JJ Cale | Stay Around

The late Oklahoma troubadour's first posthumous release is a superb, satisfying set.

“Ain’t no change in the weather, ain’t no changes in me,” JJ Cale rasped on Call Me the Breeze, the first cut on his 1972 debut album Naturally. Truer words were never spoken. Over the course of several decades and more than a dozen albums, the ruggedly individual and immeasurably influential Oklahoma singer-guitarist — who died in 2013 at age 74 — stayed fiercely loyal to his signature sound. So, just as naturally, that signature sound is exactly what you’re in for on the superb and satisfying posthumous release Stay Around, the first album of new Cale material in a decade. Compiled from previously unreleased recordings that were mixed and produced by the late great singer-guitarist, the mellow 15-song set is chock full of the lazy folk-blues jams and hazy Dust Bowl vocals that Cale seemingly could (and did) toss off at will. Admittedly, none of these tastefully understated leftovers are likely to replace classics like Cocaine, After Midnight and Lies in your JJ playlist. Even so, after 10 years without new music, any fan is guaranteed to feel that these hits of pure, unadulterated and undiluted Cale were more than worth the wait.