This is one of the strongest sets of songs in J.J. Cale`s superb back catalogue - a legacy he won`t now be able to extend as news came through a few hours ago that the man from Oklahoma has died, aged 74, of a heart attack. Call this review a tribute
if you like.
The only bad news here is a pointless throwaway track called Does Your Mama Like to Reggae, which you won`t want to hear more than once, trust me - whether you`re a reggae fan or not.
The good news is the other thirteen tracks, most of which are 100% instant solid gold Cale classics.
Cale`s opening tracks are invariably stunners, and City Girls is no exception, a funky little number that gets you in that distinctive JJ mood straightaway.
Other highspots are the even funkier mid-tempo One Step Ahead of the Blues, the ruminative You Keep Me Hangin` On (no, not that one), the bluesy, insistent Can`t Live Here, the short and sweet, over-before-you-know-it Drifter`s Wife, another very funky number Don`t Wait, the slow and slinky A Thing Going On, and the rolling Mississippi River.
The other tracks are pretty darn good too.
There`s a confidence and an urgency about this album which, along with the songs` compelling qualities, really does make for one of J.J. Cale`s most memorable records.
I ain`t droppin` no names
I ain`t playin` no games
I`m just one step ahead of the blues
on 21 December 2001
Grasshopper finds JJ moving into a slightly different phase, it still has all the mellow traits of the previous albums but stylisticly it ranges from his usual laid back style " City Girls " to raw rock tunes "One step ahead of the blues" and also the soulful ballad "You keep me hanging on ". A solid record through and through, highly recommended listening.
on 3 December 2015
It's a great album. If you're into blues or country rock, or want to find out who influenced many of the great modern Blues & Rock artists of today then here's your man. I highly recommend checking JJ Cale out. I bought this on cd, I've got it on vinyl too, in my loft... somewhere. Huge fan of this guy. Always.