Eric Clapton’s J.J. Cale tribute features Derek Trucks, Albert Lee, and Doyle Bramhall II


By Steve Newton

FULL DISCLOSURE: I fuckin’ love J.J. Cale.

Universal Music Canada has announced that Eric Clapton will release a star-studded album honouring J.J. Cale’s legacy this summer.

Titled The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, the 16-track disc will feature guitar by Clapton on all tracks, with guest appearances by such shit-hot pickers as Derek Trucks, Mark Knopfler, Albert Lee, and Doyle Bramhall II, plus pedal-steel player Greg Leisz.

Tom Petty will share the vocals with Clapton on two tracks, and sing lead on a version of “The Old Man and Me”. Willie Nelson and John Mayer will also sing on various tunes.

“I would like people to tap into what JJ Cale did—that’s the point,” said Clapton in a press release.  “I’m just the messenger; I’ve always felt that that’s my job.  I try to interpret things so that the public at large, or at least the people who listen to what I do, will become intrigued about where I got it from.”

“Eric has paid my rent for the last 30 years,” Cale told me when I interviewed him back in 2009. He was referring to the royalties he collected from Clapton covering a number of his songs.

Surprisingly, the biggest hits Clapton had with Cale tunes—”Cocaine” and “After Midnight”—will not appear on the album, which is scheduled for release on July 29. Here’s what does:

The Breeze Track Listing:

  1. Call Me The Breeze (Vocals Eric Clapton)
  2. Rock And Roll Records (Vocals Eric Clapton & Tom Petty)
  3. Someday (Vocals Mark Knopfler)
  4. Lies (Vocals John Mayer & Eric Clapton)
  5. Sensitive Kind (Vocals Don White)
  6. Cajun Moon (Vocals Eric Clapton)
  7. Magnolia (Vocals John Mayer)
  8. I Got The Same Old Blues (Vocals Tom Petty & Eric Clapton)
  9. Songbird (Vocals Willie Nelson & Eric Clapton)
  10. Since You Said Goodbye (Vocals Eric Clapton)
  11. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (Vocals Don White & Eric Clapton)
  12. The Old Man And Me (Vocals Tom Petty)
  13. Train To Nowhere (Vocals Mark Knopfler, Don White & Eric Clapton)
  14. Starbound (Vocals Willie Nelson)
  15. Don’t Wait (Vocals Eric Clapton & John Mayer)
  16. Crying Eyes (Vocals Eric Clapton & Christine Lakeland)


Keys – Hammond Organ, Piano & Wurlitzer

Walt Richmond & Simon Climie

Drum Programming & Percussion

Simon Climie

Bass Nathan East

Drums Jim Keltner


Eric Clapton (All tracks)

Mark Knopfler (Tracks 3 & 13)

John Mayer (Tracks 4, 7 & 15)

Willie Nelson (Tracks 9 & 14)

Don White (Tracks 3, 5 & 13)

Reggie Young (Tracks 2, 6 & 8)

Derek Trucks (Tracks 14 & 16)

Albert Lee (Tracks 1 & 11)

David Lindley (Tracks 9 & 16)

Don Preston (Track 3 & 13)

Christine Lakeland (Track 3)

Doyle Bramhall II (Track 10)

Pedal Steel Guitar

Greg Leisz (Track 12 & 14)


Eric Clapton (Track 11)


Jimmy Markham (Track 13)

Mickey Raphael (Tracks 3, 9 & 14)

Backing Vocals

Michelle John (Tracks 4, 5, 9 & 13)

Sharon White(Tracks 4, 5, 9 & 13)

Christine Lakeland (Tracks 13 & 15)

Simon Climie (Track 9)

Additional Drums

James Cruce

Jim Karstein

Jamie Oldaker

David Teegarden

Satnam Ramgotra (Tablas)


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