Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another bluesy tune: Lou-Easy-Ann


Another variation on blues. Great boogie tune, and 5 is one of my first faves among his albums (at first in around 1991, I had the Special edition, but then Grasshopper and 5 were my early faves. "10" was the first one I bought right when it came out, and I hated it!).

And this one comes to the third topic of JJ songs: traveling. It isn't the only song he's written about N'Awlins, and he's pretty much covered all other great cities of USA along the way. And has a another song about Lousiana, that mentions girl named Lou-Easy-Ann: Louisiana women.

I'd like to visit all towns he mentions, haven't really visited many. Although I did shout loud, along with the others at the Aladdin in Portland in April, when JJ sang "from Portland, Oregon, to the mexican line"... :)

Anyway, back to Lou-Easy-Ann...

The chord progression:

So it's in the key of G, but starts off on the IV-chord instead of the I chord. Again it ends on the I chord (=G), not the V chord (D).

All E-shaped barres (8th fret, 3th fret, ... 10th fret). That's how he plays the chords on the "In session" DVD.



So if I'm hearing correctly, he plays the G blues scale (G minor pentatonic + C# note).

In the "In Session" DVD he seems to be moving between the 8-11th fret and the 3rd-fifth fret for the intro solo, so I tabbed in that way. It's not 100% like in the DVD, as I tabbed the song off the record instead (it's too much of a hassle winding the video back and forth).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday morning comes too early, work my back to the bone

Tired after the weekend, so here's the chords to Blue Sunday "a day late":
C5/// C5/// F5/// F5///
C5/// G5/// C5/// C5///
(the solos are on a steel guitar or something, so I ain't tabbing them)

So it is a variation of 8-bar blues, like Who's talking. Add solos in C minor pentatonic per your taste. :D I have the tendency of playing the V-chord (here the G chord) as the last bar of any blues progression, but (to my ear) JJ often just stays on the I-chord (here C chord) in the end, not overly emphasizing the end. I think he just plays the I-chord at the end of Who's talking too, but I just like to play the V-chord at the end.

I dig the Rewind album of unreleased tracks, though some covers, like Golden Ring, they could've left out. Also, it should have Katy Kool lady on it instead of Out of Style. Out of style isn't unreleased, what's up with that! Or is it a play on the "5" mistake, having another mistake here? But anyway, still some gems on the unreleased stuff too!

Yes, I will take care of "Friday" one fine day. May not be this Friday though, as I am traveling again. Friday is real groovy, just stays on the same D chord for what I hear... but that still needs more work... any tips?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a quick tiddy: Who's talking

Put the about 145 JJ songs I have on disc (and are not covered by the two tab books or the Steve Chapman tabs) on a shuffle, and this song came up. Of course, Travel-log is another true fave, better than #8 and number 10 combined. Even though I remember JJ saying he likes the albums with numbers as their names, tonally those two aren't all that hot.

The main part of the song (already goes through this twice before the vocals kick in):

I play this just in E shape barres (so G is at third fret, D is at 10th fret, C at 8th fret). So I basically just play the bottom two or three strings, so all the 3 chords might sound like 5th chords most of the time, instead of the sevenths... I just wrote them like that because I fretted them like that.

The mid section is maybe just G, and a D7 at the end. Or something like that. Didn't have time to really listen to it... I just strummed a G higher up.

This is the first 35 seconds of intro high clean solo guitar:



So it's basically G minor pentatonic scale again. Or actually G minor blues scale, if you count the b5 note on the 2nd fret of the B string. In my trascription I am in the 5th and the first scale pattern box.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

JJ gear posting update

Just to add and confirm my previous list, he had these guitars:
- Two ES-335 / 345 models, one (red?) with a vibrola, the other (sunburst) with a fixed bridge. I assume both are Gibsons. (see Rewind cover leaflet)
- a sunburst Danelectro Longhorn guitar (see Rewind cover leaflet). He also had a Danelectro bass (or Silvertone).
- Several Les Pauls (one was a '52). Gibson Johnny Smith model, Gibson ES-330, Stratocaster, Martin acoustic with a DeArmond pickup (GP, April 1977)
- At first The Harmony only had a Danelectro pickup. Then it went bad and was taken out. Then two low output Gibson humbuckers from a Gibson LP were added, and out-of-phase swithcm and bass cut off selector. Strings were 009-039 (GP, April 1977). Later two more higher output "P90s"-like pickups were added, and a Sears Silvertone bar/lipstick pickup. And add a lot of knobs and switches for taste. (more info in the Paradise studio DVD)
- Gibson double pickup 125 used in recording.
- And what is this vintage Epiphone style of a jazz guitar:
- Previously I mentioned JJ had Texas-made telecaster pickups. I meant Rio Grande Muy Grande, Halfbreed, Vintage Tallboy. But actually these could be a Stratocaster set instead (being a set of three). But somewhere Rocky Frisco, JJ's keyboard player, said JJ gave him one of JJs Telecasters. So he's had one.

As for amps:
- Also had a 1964 Twin Reverb and used also a 4x10 Bassman
- Fender Deluxe amp used for some recording
- a tiny Pignose amp
- for mid-seventies European tour rented a Marshall (maybe he played it Finland too?) (GP, April 1977)

And effects he had in the 70s (as per GP article):
- VOX patent pending wah-wah pedal
- MXR limiters, MXR phaser
- Maestro Boomerang pedal
- Fender Wah-fuzz
- Fender Volume pedal (Mark Knopfler used a volume pedal on his great early stuff too... makes the guitar cry and sing! :) )

Another simple tune: Boilin pot

Some would claim that all JJ Cale songs are either about pot or about sex. So I guess boiling pot is one of the quinessential JJ songs then? Well, yes I know, it's not about pot, just sex. ...She whispers in my ear...

This simple tune has a some covers on youtube, where you can see how the chords go: (Dm and C) (Am and G)

The original is Dm - C. I think you could say that it is a D dorian progression with chords of i - bVII... if that kinda thing gets you off. :D

I was thinking of tabbing this one, but, well, the venerable misters Poindexter and Steve Chapman have done that already.

I don't know if theirs is correct. The interval bit at 1m20s goes in Dm pentatonic, about like this:



... and then back to C and "She keep me hot..."

JJ cale covers on youtube

In my youtube "channel" I favorited a bunch of amateur covers of JJ. A couple of pro ones in there too.

Most of them have something of worth, like a sneak peek at the chords played... :D

Here are some picks:
- KENOEFF has quite a few great covers live at his living room.
- RAYBLUE69 has made the best imitations of JJs recordings (about 27 of them) I've ever heard.
- Mickclipes has a real nice Precious memories cover.
- Rett Wills really knows his You got me on so bad.
- Harris Brothers get a on a roll with a great rendition of "If You're Ever in Oklahoma"
- And I always dug Howard Emerson, here's his "Crazy Momma"
- Harry De Visser, without just imitating, gets a very "JJ" sound going with a take on "Former me"

Also JJ Cale said he was influenced by Clarence Gatemouth Brown. What could be a greater honour, than being covered by one of your idols: Don't cry sister

And while Tom Petty was a special guest on the recent tour, I never knew they played some JJ on their gigs too, like "13 days".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another blues tune: Runaround.

in the JJ yahoo group like 3 years ago somebody requested a tab for Runaround. I love the lyrics of this one!

So here's my try in a single sitting:

Key of C, 12 bar blues:

intro and ending both follow the C minor pentatonic box at 8th fret.

intro up to vocals:


ending (the last couple of notes are maybe not played, but sound right to me):

simple bass line suggestion (I am no bass player!):



Standard dislaimer and all that! All corrections welcome!!!!!! :)

Oh that mysterious mr. JJ

In the early to mid-seventies, we had a music magazine called "Musa" (=music). They did reviews of the first three JJ albums as they came out. All of them got quite good reviews, but none were given any "instant classic" status. Though 3rd of them, Okie, was the album of the month, they were slightly disappointed with it.

Although their earliest reviews complained the music lacked edge, the editor-in-chief and some of the other journalist at the mag slowly got really big into JJ.

Here's some quotes from the article on JJ Cale from 1974, by editor-in-chief Waldemar Wallenius, since then a major figure in Finnish rock journalism (and even ran for EU parliament a decade ago):

"There's something about JJ that makes a grown man squirm on the floor from pure pleasure, making sounds of cry and laughter"

"...I am not far from crying out loud, so strongly his sighing touches the deepest parts of my soul"

At first at the office, JJ was considered just a midly interesting artist,
"but then the record was on the turntable constantly, and there were five editors fighting over who can listen to it... and so there were already 5 JJ Cale fans in Finland".

"Naturally and Really are in the top ten records of all time, and it is of no use anybody claiming otherwise. It is a fact. Just believe it!"

"So I've been meaning to write an article on JJ Cale for half a year, so that word would spread. The only problem is there is no info on him to spread"

... he adds, in the beginning of this 4 page article, and continues with info like this:
"Readers with eagle eyes and an astute memory will remember, that in both our album reviews [Naturally and Really] we have mentioned that JJ Cale is blind. The source for this information is long lost, but the belief in it grew stronger by all the photos of him, as his eyes don't look normal. But now the well-known Rolling stones magazine had an article about him, and apparently he can see very clearly, as among others he says, he has been watching TV. I wonder how the facts stand on this now? Oh well, the music still remains, regardless".

I'll get back to playing JJ guitar in a day or two. But just wanted to post this bit, as I always found it amusing. JJ got into the brains of these guys so that they wrote about him, although didn't have any facts to share, except the bit about Naturally and Really being in the top 10 records of all time. Well, at least that fact has stood the test of time. :D Anyways, lessens my load, I ain't the first nonsensically about JJ!

(translations are mine, thus quotation marks are used quite freely here. The source is "Musa", 4/1974, pp.32-35 if anybody wants to check :) )

Friday, October 16, 2009

Artists influenced by J.J. Cale

There are plenty of people influenced by him. The short list usually being Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler.

Clapton's first solo album, "there's one in every crowd", "Backless" and "461 Ocean Blvd" are the one's that come to my mind for JJ influence. "Backless" of course also has EC's "Golder Ring" which JJ covered. Here's Clapton's less known JJ cover from "Backless" album:
I'll make love to ... on Amazon
and here's a relaxing song off "No Reason to cry":
County jail blues ... on Amazon

When Dire Straits album On every Street came out, I bought it, even saw them here at the local stadium. But this song at the time sounded to me like very JJesque:
When it comes to you ... on Amazon

... well it sounds like Mark Knopfler to me now. Always been a big fan of the first album of Dire Straits, or even the first three. On every street isn't one of their best. But anyway, I assume there are similarities in the beat of the early DS and JJ, just from liking them both! :D

Also a *very* popular songwriter here in Finland (his albums always go to top ten, or #1) called J Karjalainen was heavily influenced by JJ cale in the beginning (this was the 80s). Even his band was called J Karjalainen and mustat lasit. Mustat lasit means sunglasses... in other words Shades (as per JJ's album). And J Karjalainen, although his real name, to me that is not far from something like JJ Calelainen! :)

Inspired by JJ, this J. Karjalainen guy even bought a Harmony guitar and played it on the first Mustat Lasit -album. Karjalainen says about that time:
"I didn't like my electric guitar, sold it, and got a cheapo acoustic to mimic Cale."
"Cale hit me very hard. There was no pretending, no painted faces, no long guitar solos. Just real easy, laid back home grown groove"

Here's one upbeat track from Karjalainen's early live album:
Jussi sä oot hyvä mulle
Name of the track translates to "Jussi, you are so good to me". Jussi the Finnish version of the name John. But I wouldn't know if he means John W. Cale. :D

For really short clips of Karjalainen's two early albums:
first album
live album

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another song: Pack my jack

Shades is another true favorite album of mine. Oh my. It has live feeling unlike any other records of JJs.

Pack my jack is one of the long grooves on this record. With no other but the GREAT James "Jumpin Jim" Burton on one solo guitar! He also plays on the Travel-log album.

By my ear it is a 12-bar blues in G. So it goes:

The first 15 seconds of the intro solo, to my ear, are something like this:


where ' denotes a small bend and ^ is a bigger bend. The x are muted strings, so there is rake across the muted strings, that lands on the fretted 11th fret second string.

So he looks to be playing a mixture of G minor pentatonic and G major pentatonic. He plays around with the third, which is very common in a lot of solos anyway: slight bends on the minor third (B string 11th fret) to go to a bluesy note (short of the major third a fret up), or the bending (or hammerin on) one fret up (from minor third to major third).

OK, this was a quick one, hope it is somewhere in the ball park! :)

Our "band's" first take of After midnite rhythm

Here's our recent first basic take of the after midnight, my sorry ass on the bass:
After midnite basic track
We haven't played it before or since, nor have any of us played it in a band before. Next time we get together, there will be vocals and solos and things. But most likely I won't be posting the full version. The video photo is from JJ tour this year (taken by me).

Being a JJ fan, I always liked this slower version, compared to the original 1960s faster version, or the Eric Clapton version of that. The laid back groove is what draws me in!

Anyway, After midnight is in a sense the most important JJ song, it's the one that kick started his career as solo performer and song writer. The lyric bit "After midnight, we gonna let it all hang out" was heard by JJ on some club gig.

Tab to this song is available on line at many places:"after+midnight"
But I have actually never played it by that tab, nor do I know if it's accurate etc.

It's easiest to think of the song being in sections of 4 bars:
So there basically two differing 4-bar phrases, and the 16 bars goes like this: the first phrase is played twice, then the second phrase once, and then again the first phrase once. And then back to the top... repeat forever as needed, or until the soufflé falls flat on it's face. :D

Monday, October 12, 2009

2nd song: Tijuana

I always loved the Travel-log album, and Tijuana is a great song!

To me the song sounds like your "fake flamenco 101" of playing the open E major chord 022100 and then going a fret up to 033200, which is Fmaj7(b5). Playing the "opening the full fist of fingers" strum with fingers makes this sound like poor man's flamenco. To play a flamenco solo on top of it, it's important to play E and F and Ab and A, as these notes a fret apart, played boldly gives the flamenco sound.

But back to JJ.... looking at the video on youtube:
Tijuana live
I think you can just play E and F back and forth... sounds good like that too. He plays both the barred F and not barred F at the 1st fret.

Anyway... the youtube version looks to be just those two strummed chords and nothing else really happening guitarwise. In the intro he is basically picking through the chords, to make a sort of an intro.

The solo is E minor pentatonic. For me it sounds like B-string 5th fret, 8th fret, 12th fret and 15th fret. But by the vid, he clearly is playing the Em pentatonic 1st box up on 12th fret:

Will have to really listen to the original again. I actually only have it on LP, plus live versions on the Collected 3CD set and in some bootlegs.

My gear and playing

I play a Squier strat and an Epiphone Alleykat (on the right). The latter is a little bit like a cross of a les paul deluxe and a ES-335, so that's the one for JJ Cale sounds.

My bass (on the left) is an Epiphone Allen Woody Rumblekat (short scale). I like the clarinet player Woody Allen, but this bass was designed by bass player Allen Woody instead.

Both Epihones are rather recent, so I am still learning how to handle them.

My only amp is a Roland MicroCube, but I used to also have a BF 1965 VibroChamp, which was just sublime. Also have a Ibanez 10W bass amp on loan from a friend, but don't really use it much. I record with Zoom H4 and Audacity. Also trying to learn to record with Reaper software, which I've hear good things about.

For effect stomp boxes I have a DanEcho, a Daddy-O overdrive, and a Line 6 Constrictor compression pedal. The first two I've had for years, the last one I bought very recently. The overdrive I haven't used in years. The DanEcho is good for rockabilly slap, the Line 6 I bought for JJ stuff. Was just intriqued what a compressor might do, for funk rhythm, country lead, and JJ Cale stuff.

Here's my first recording with the two Epiphones, and I try to play in the style of JJ:
The progression is a mess of some JJ things. So it's like Lies, Cajun Moon and After midnight mixed together.
Dm, F, G,
Dm, F, C,
Dm, G,
Dm, G, A
... or something like that, I forgot already!

Here's another one, on the Stratocaster I have, playing just on one string up on down:
The chords are Dm and A7. And the solos is the open D string, playing a minor pentatonic or dorian or something like that.

Keys of JJ's songs

I was talking about song key centers below.

To aid the ear, here's the set list from ca. 1993-1994 San Francisco gig with keys:
River boat song = E, F#
Mama don't allow = Bbm (?)
Old man = A, B
River runs deep = A
Don't cry sister = D
13 days = A
Cajun Moon = F
Rocks?! = D
Cocaine = C
Hold on = A
Riding home = F
People lie = E
Bringing it back = F
Going down = A.

This being a copy of the set list, it is what it is, I cannot confirm for sure. I guess the duplicate keys means it's capoed: So two song are capoed on the second fret, by that logic.

This one's from Seattle 2009:
Cajun moon = F#
Artificial paradise = B
Ride me high = C
Sensitive kind = B
Anyway the wind blows = F#
I'll make love to you anytime = B
Whit solo song = G
Crazy mama = F#
Dave Teegarten sang Reed's Baby what's wrong with you = C
After midnight = A
Magnolia = C
T-Bone = Bb
Call me the breeze = F#
Cocaine = B
Roll on = F #
--- encore not listed:----
Borrowed time
Travelin light

JJs influences

I'd like to dip into his influences too. And I have. :) Here's some:

JJ has noted that he is a big fan of Clarence Gatemouth Brown, so some of his licks may come from there, like the one I just tabed below. But he plays the T-Bone Shuffle a lot, so I assume the T-Bone lick above comes directly from the source. And Gatemouth got his real start by replacing T-Bone in all thos eyears ago, so it's all good anyway. :)

He also mentions he really enjoys The Highwaymen album. by Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Kris.

And he also says he is an admirer of Mose Allison.

From his childhood he has once told that his parents likes Glenn Miller, but he was into Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino. He also said somewhere that as a young guitarslinger, he had to play all sorts of things in the bands he was in, western swing, latest hit records, etc. Also he says jump blues wasmusic he really liked, but only after he started playing guitar.

JJs song and guitar style in general

To quote :
Cale's personal style has often been described as "laid back", and is characterized by shuffle rhythms, simple chord changes, understated vocals, and clever, incisive lyrics. Cale is also a very distinctive and idiosyncratic guitarist, incorporating both Travis-like fingerpicking and gentle, meandering electric solos. His recordings also reflect his stripped-down, laid-back ethos; his album versions are usually quite succinct and often recorded entirely by Cale alone, using drum machines for rhythm accompaniment.

JJ plays mostly without a pick, for smoother tone. He also appears to be using very thin strings, so he might bend with pinky etc, which makes it possible for him to evoke more emotion by slight bends and vibratos. The thin strings you can see on the Paradise studio 1979 DVD, for example. Could be that the old Harmony just was so difficult to play with anything but very thin strings. :D But also Clapton said in some interview bit that JJ does funny stuff like puts some real thin string on his guitars.

JJ's tone appears to be heavy on compression or similarly "dulling" effects. Very smooth, with plenty of sustain. Vocals are double tracked and stuff, I bet, to give a stronger vocal sound. Also he used wah-wah on some old records, but I don't really know anything about wahwahs.

His songs often are in minor keys. And some are capoed (or tuned) up a fret or two, so keys are not always common guitar keys (C, A, G, E, D). So he might play in F (Bringing it back), F# (Crazy mama) or Ebm (Cajun moon), instead of E or Em. Live it appears Christine plays same chords but higher up the neck, and JJ plays close to the open position. Also live, it might be that the keys are different, as he appears to play open chords more often, and not use a capo.

A lot of his songs are based on the minor blues, I think. So basically you have the i-IV-V of a said key, so like if chords Cm, F, G in the key of Cm. Also some songs that basically just two chords, for the whole verse of a song (Money talks, Magnolia, etc) or the whole song (don't remember which now, but I think there are some).

The solos I've tried to tab have basically been from the minor pentatonic scale of the said key. With plenty of slides and pull-ofs and hammer-ons... and some real sweet bends. Of course some of the notes in the solos, I see as coming from the played chords, not a scale, but still.

For patented licks of JJ, I haven't really progressed that far. I think I ought to find some down the line. Certainly he does play the T-Bone Walker / Chuck Berry lick where you bend the 4fth up (towards the fifth) and the play the double stop of fifth and root. Here as an example this move in the key of G:

JJ's guitars

On the gear side of things:

JJ's guitars:
- On the classic side JJ mostly played his $50 he bought in the late 60s, either miked as an acoustic or then with installed pickups (more and more pickups as years went on: Gibson humbuckers of low and high output, P90-type of pickup, Danelectro-type of a lipstick etc). This guitar was broken by airlines on an Aussie tour, IIRC. So it's been gutted, and don't know where the pickups in it went.
- he also played an ES-335 or a Japanese knock-off of a Les Paul (with a Bigsby) on those classic tunes.
- on the 1979 in Studio live DVD he plays also a 70s Stratocaster with a maple neck. One maple necked strat was also on the cover of one of his albums of that era. He also sold a 1979 strat in one of Eric Clapton's auctions. Nowadays he also sometimes plays a red strat that has a rosewood fingerboard. He did on the 2009 tour in Eugene.
- on the tours in the late 80s and nineties, after the Harmony broke, JJ played a Casio 360 MIDI guitar. I think he still prefers one of those for big venues, as he played for the Clapton shows this decade. Like he says:
"I have a Casio synthesizer guitar I bought in I guess about 1980. And that was one of the first synthesizer--Roland come out with a guitar synthesizer and you could put it on your guitar and plug it into a Midi device and make it sound just like a piano. But Casio come out with one called a 360. So I went and bought one--in fact, I bought two. And I just like the guitar.

The guitar is Japanese made. It's a Stratocaster imitation. I've been playing it all these years. If I want to add some strings, some synthesizer, instead of playing keyboard, I would just run the Midi out into a synthesizer module or a keyboard and I could do it on the guitar, which I understood a little bit more than the keyboard.

They don't make them anymore. I tried to buy more of them. And the synthesizer generally goes bad after a few years. I don't know what happens. It hasn't on this particular guitar. I took one of the pickups off and put a Gibson pickup on it, so it's been modified. I'm not as much into lead guitar as I used to be, but it's really a good lead guitar. It gets real close to sounding like either a Stratocaster or a Les Paul, I have both of those. And it's got a Floyd Rose thing on it, so it stays in tune real good. So when I go on the road, I play that thing with a band. Number one, it stays in tune, right?"

- This decade he has been playing a Korean Danelectro Covertible reissue. With a piezo added in addition to the Danelectro lipstick pickup. JJ really likes them lipsticks, and I do understand it, from my little experience with ten, they do have a sweet (compressed?) tone . Though I've heard that the reissue supposedly don't, but who knows, sound good when JJ plays!
- On the #8 album he is playing a Gibson SG on the cover. This album is the first digitally recorded album of his, and it sounds quite thin to my ears... so I thus never liked the SG. :D
- He played a bowl bodied Ovation acoustic in the ca. early 90s as well. Those things look so eighties to me. On the 2004 tour he played a Tacoma guitar (as seen on the Tulsa and Back DVD radio interview bit).
- on the cover of a 90s album he is playing a Gibson L5-CES in tuxedo black.
- On the old live VHS he plays a Carvin (AE185?) semihollow (like a '72 thinline Telecaster).
- He at least used to have a telecaster, as a Texan pickup manufacturer site says he used their Rio Grande Muy Grande telecaster pickups.
- He had a Martin made to his specs, before the Guitar man album. And said he wrote like half of the album the day he finally go it. Has "JJ Cale" inlaid on the fretboard. Also has a Taylor:
- On the Road to escondido trailer vid JJ is playing a Moonstone guitar, and in some old photos he or Christine is seen with one too. The one on the Road to... vid was a mor recent one, and look to be a semihollow design slightly similar to the Danelectro Convertible but 100 times more classy.
- Christine used to be seen with a ES-335 all the time, now she is carrying either solid body Variax or a an "acoustic" Variax model. She wasn't playing on the 2009 tour.
- Bill Raffensperger usually plays a worn out 1960s Fender Jazzbass, but on the 2004 tour he played a Tacoma acoustic bass.

So basically JJ likes a hollowbody electric for a little more acoustic tone, and humbucker or Danelectro pickups. Tribute band's leader played a 1990s Gibson Les Paul through a Rivera amp, to come somewhat close to original JJ touch and tone. So I think Gibson, maybe a semihollow like ES-335, is the way to go. Danelectro Convertible are not available anyway. :D

As for amps:
- lately he has been playing a Fender Blues Junior live. The live tone he gets is NOT the classic tone of his, I feel. But it's still great! :)
- On the live VHS he plays a Blues Deluxe. Or so he says. "Must've had a roadie on that gig", he adds. :D
- earlier he must've played the old Fender Pro he has. Don't know if it's a 50s style tweed pro or a later Pro Reverb. Completely different animals. I assume it is a tweed style amp, for more compression of the old overdriven tubes type.

more on JJ gear here:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First post here: Hard love

My first blog. My first post.

Trying to learn to play J.J. Cale on the guitar, and maybe bass too. By ear. And I am not very good at it, but hope to get better.

"Hard love" is the first song, as I found a vid on the the net (thanks to Mike of !). The video is one's live from 1993/94. He plays his white Casio stratocaster-lookalike with Floyd rose bridge. Christine plays an ES-335 (why does she nowadays play a Variax, I love the ES-335s!)

So watching it through, I think:
- he capos first fret and the key is Fm
- main chords are Fm (122111) and Eb (xx4232). The main bit just goes back and forth between these two. The chords can be played like this too: x-8-10-10-9-8 and xx4232, which makes the transition basically going up and down the fretboard and lifting 4th finger.
- the other chords are C and Bb. So to look at it theoretically: basically with Fm-Bb-C we are playing a Minor blues in F.
- Christine plays a fill bit up on around the 8th fret Fm (i.e. Am up 8 frets). I think she is going between Em and Fm chords on the B and E strings and the ending with fretted G string.
- JJ's solo is basically playing the 6th, 9th and 11th and maybe 4th fret on the B string. So that's like the root, third, fourth and flat seventh of the F minor. I may try to tab the solo later.
- So the solo is a simple minor pentatonic noodle, but more like on a single string insteaf of box. As a common pattern box, it'd be the 1st box up on 13th fret: D string 13th and 15th fret, G string 13th and 15th fret.
- Will have to check the original recording too, to hear differences between that and this live version. Christine's bit have to be clarified too.

That's it, my first! :D