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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cale's Back (4.5 stars)
Cale is an example of a irony who has many victims in the history of Rock and Blues, he belongs to a select group of musicians who has inspired many of the people you probably admired but never receive the recognition than those who learned from the master. In Cale's case the two most famous instances of this are, undoubtedly Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton -the latter...
Published on 27 July 2004 by Juan Mobili

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars To Tulsa and Back.
I have long since been a JJ Cale fan, but this CD doesn't quite do it for me. However, there are some good tracks on it, although nothing outstanding.
Published 16 days ago by M. R. Cook


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cale's Back (4.5 stars), 27 July 2004
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
Cale is an example of a irony who has many victims in the history of Rock and Blues, he belongs to a select group of musicians who has inspired many of the people you probably admired but never receive the recognition than those who learned from the master. In Cale's case the two most famous instances of this are, undoubtedly Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton -the latter even saying once in an interview that he felt he was the closest thing a British musician can get to Cale, and who turned huge hits out of JJ's "Cocaine" and "After Midnight.
This album finds Cale back in great form and, after several years of not visiting a studio, just as laidback and sensual in his playing as in some of his classics from years past. What you can expect is his trademark tasteful picking, solos that say everything they need to say with hardly half of the notes used by the average aspiring "guitar god," and a voice that will not necessarily stir you yet it's exactly the way to sing whatever song he's singing.
So, no surprises here, no experimenting with new sounds or genres nor the trite parade of guests who often appear and contribute more to an album's marketing but hardly anything to the songs they play in.
This is JJ Cale's unadulterated, bluesy mastery of the guitar, again accompanied by a tight band seasoned through his continued touring and playing like they are hanging out in Cale's living room. No pretense, no pyrotechnics, nothing but inspired playing some new great tunes.
For those who know Cale already, suffice to say that this is one of the albums they may be most satisfied having purchased. Listen to "New Lover," "Stone River" or "The Problem" -probably his most political song to date- for proof of that. For something somewhat different, you may try "Rio" which is touched by some Brazilian overtones but one hundred percent Cale, or "Blues for Mama" which is likely to be one of his slow and sensuous best songs in along time.
Where so many people out there lose themselves trying to change to attract new fans, Cale again chooses to remain himself, to do what he does well, and returns to form-in vintage Cale's style- without even breaking a sweat.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 14 Jun 2004
This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
After 8 years of silence Cale records his best album in many years! 13 great songs, session musicians are back, songs are beautiful and bluesy. It's just unbelievable music for 2004 and from the man who is 66 years old. Check out songs like Rio or Stone River.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect antidote to modern living, 24 Nov 2005
This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
From the first beat of the opener “My Gal”, I found myself in familiar territory. A wonderful, laid-back JJ Cale world where the roads are empty, the beer is cold and life hums along to the lazy burble of a big V8. The problem is that the more I listened, the more I was convinced that it wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders. Not that the album is in any way poor, it’s just that I have one or two minor niggles about what could have been a really top-notch CD.
I like my blues to be played by real musicians not machines. Half of the songs on “To Tulsa and Back” feature a live band and the other half are solo efforts by Cale himself. This is a mix that he has used successfully since his 1972 debut “Naturally”. Thing is though, the unaccompanied tracks on this album are backed by the slightly synthetic sound of a drum machine. For the most part, this didn’t matter. “Stone River” in particular was well played and the essential feel of the music combined with Cale’s legendary gravelly voice meant that I barely noticed the band weren’t there anymore.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last. Things came to a head with “Rio”. I was on holiday at the time and every bar on the island featured a keyboard player belting out karaoke versions of old chart hits with a synthesised Latin beat and pre-programmed instruments. “Rio” was just like that, complete with manufactured “brass” section. The familiar cracked and croaking Cale vocals were there as usual, yet even this couldn’t disguise the fact that the music sounded not only false, but also out of place on what was for the most part a blues album. To me it just sounded wrong.
Luckily for me, I didn’t give up, because from Jim Karstein’s first live brush stroke on a real snare drum, “These Blues” got me right back in the groove. What a relief. After the temporary misfire, things smoothed out and just got better and better. “Motormouth” was excellent and when you listen to the words of “Blues for Mama”, you won’t fail to be moved. In the end, I was left feeling that the final banjo picking track “Another Song” came around way too soon.
Incidentally, has anyone else noticed the similarity in guitar and vocal styles between JJ Cale and Britain’s own Mark Knopfler? Take a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JJ rides on, 12 Nov 2004
By 
M. Bobak "martinb" (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
I may be biased but I have not yet heard anything bad or even mediocre from JJ Cale. His blend of different genres creates what many Europeans consider the "ultimate American music", which he delivers with a unique taste, guitar, voice and sound. On the new album, JJ Cale continues what he has always done: his music. No change. Thank God. I tend to prefer pieces on which JJ plays with other musicians, rather than playing all the instruments himself, and I would like to have more such songs here but this is just nidpicking. It is perfect, and I hope that he will do some more soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A class act, 29 Aug 2007
By 
Friendlycard (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
When I bought this CD, I somehow thought it would be the soundtrack to the (superb) documentary DVD of the same name. In fact, it's a studio album, and a great one at that. J.J. Cale's composition and performance are as masterful as ever - it's a beautiful album, the quientessence of laid-back, consumately professional yet marvellously warm. The production matches the quality of the music - another classic from the master. Picking individual tracks would be almost invidious, but give a special listen to the haunting "Homeless". Terrific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful album, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: To Tulsa & Back (Audio CD)
This gets played so much in my house (and on my phone). Any time I want a lift and to just smile and to respect the music and the memory of this man. I introduced a good musician friend of mine to this later material of JJ Cale - he knew all the earlier albums, but then this later work of Cale's had fallen off his radar of late. He was completely blown away. He plays it all the time now too!

Drink this music in. Buy it. Treat yourself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep it up JJ, 23 Dec 2005
This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
More of the same from JJ. For those who know his music that's all they'll need to hear. I've never heard a bad (or even mediocre) piece from him in the 21 years I've been buying his albums.
Yes there are a couple of political songs in there, and yes having all of his old pals round for a session does take away a little of the simple beauty of JJ's music, but it's fun (and brilliant) all the same.
I was introduced to JJ's music as an 18 year old student, I'm 40 in a few weeks, I'd still like to be listening to new albums from JJ when I'm a pensioner, his music really is that good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JJ Cale at his best!, 18 Dec 2004
By 
D. GRAHAM (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
This is a surprisingly upbeat album for JJ Cale.
If you're one of his fans (I am) you will NOT be disappointed.
Even after a first listen, you'll want more!
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3.0 out of 5 stars To Tulsa and Back., 12 July 2014
By 
M. R. Cook ""Cookie"" (South Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Tulsa And Back (Audio CD)
I have long since been a JJ Cale fan, but this CD doesn't quite do it for me. However, there are some good tracks on it, although nothing outstanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Macmusic, 5 Jan 2014
This review is from: To Tulsa & Back (Audio CD)
Great album by one of the all time best blues/country singers.the late great JJCale.treat yourself to this gem and you wont be disapointed!!
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