Community-driven media: Log in or Visit
1 |

25 Essential J.J. Cale Songs

Extra Chill is excited about the J.J. Cale tribute this Friday night, April 7th at the Charleston Pour House. In particular, public figure Chris Gardner has been a fan of J.J. Cale for years, and has been talking about this show ever since it was announced.

“My friend Malone from Mississippi introduced me to J.J. Cale when I was 22,” Gardner says. “He picked me up and played ‘Soulin” for me in his car with a sick sound system and it changed my life.”

Mega Hot Records has assembled quite the band for Friday’s tribute, including ringleader Jim Rubush on guitar alongside fellow Little Bird members Noah Jones (keys), Oleg Terentiev (drums), and Ben Mossman (bass), plus Jonathan Peace of Lureto and Persona La Ave on drums.

J.J. Cale is one of those songwriters who flies under the radar, but he’s written way more popular songs than you might expect, and has been influential to countless artists. His catalog is vast, spanning over five decades of silky smooth blues rock with lots of soul.

It was J.J. Cale who wrote and first recorded the famous songs “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”, both of which were later popularized by Eric Clapton and others. He also wrote “Ride Me High”, a song later popularized by Widespread Panic and Billy Strings (played it in Charleston 3/11/23).

That’s why today, we’ve consulted with Chris Gardner to provide a list of 25 J.J. Cale songs that he considers the essentials from throughout his career. We’ve placed them into this handy Spotify playlist, in order of release date, and you can also check them out via the list below.

Tickets to An Evening with J.J. Cale at Charleston Pour House are $12 and available here.

1. “After Midnight” (Single, 1966)

2. “Call Me the Breeze” (Naturally, 1971)

3. “Don’t Go To Strangers” (Naturally, 1971)

4. “Magnolia” (Naturally, 1971)

5. “Crazy Mama” (Naturally, 1971)

6. “Nowhere to Run” (Naturally, 1971)

7. “Bringing It Back” (Naturally, 1971)

8. “Crying Eyes” (Naturally, 1971)

9. “Going Down” (Really, 1972)

10. “Soulin'” (Really, 1972)

11. “Cajun Moon” (Okie, 1974)

12. “I Got the Same Old Blues” (Okie, 1974)

13. “Hey Baby” (Troubadour, 1976)

14. “Travelin’ Light” (Troubadour, 1976)

15. “Ride Me High” (Troubadour, 1976)

16. “Cocaine” (Troubadour, 1976)

17. “The Woman That Got Away” (Troubadour, 1976)

18. “Let Me Do It to You” (Troubadour, 1976)

19. “Cherry” (Troubadour, 1976)

20. “I’ll Make Love to You Anytime” (5, 1979)

21. “Don’t Cry Sister” (5, 1979)

22. “Lou-Easy-Ann” (1979)

23. “One Step Ahead of the Blues” (Grasshopper, 1982)

24. “Humdinger” (Travel-Log, 1990)

25. “Stone River” (To Tulsa and Back, 2004)