It’s a bit weird starting a blog with a post about someone’s death. Saying goodbye to phenomenal guitarist JJ Cale made me think of the lyrics, If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues, Cocaine.
Well it sure was bad news for those of us who loved his music. Through good times and bad – more often the latter – JJ’s music kept me company, like he said in ‘Days go by’, I’m feeling a little down and out, And it’ll keep me company.
As my small tribute, on Monday morning as I thundered down the highway, I played ‘Cocaine’ – loudly. I also sang – badly, but having considered himself a songwriter rather than a singer, I don’t think he would have minded too much. It’s always been a song I play on roads trips to keep me awake.
For the sad and bad times there was the remarkable slide guitar work on ‘Crazy Mama’, damn that guitar almost cried at his unrequited love.
In cheerier moments there was the upbeat and whimsical ‘Clyde’, “Misery loves company, And his old dog sings harmony, Tambourine tied to his tail, You can hear him moan, you can hear him wail”.
So JJ may be gone but his songs live on and his words can still speak to us across time. Whether the times are sad or bad, I know one thing about his music – if I’m feeling a little down and out, it’ll keep me company.