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by JJ Cale
Shades by JJ Cale
Released: Feb 1981
Label: Universal (Uc)
Originally released in 1981, Shades isn't top to bottom badass like Naturally or Troubadour, but it does contain several outstanding moments from the king of mellow-groove burnout blues. "Wish I Had Not Said That" is the most obvious example. With its sweetly scented funk, which possesses that looped-groove feel Cale is so good at creating, it sounds like something Beck would record 15 years later. "If You Leave Her" exudes a similar vibe, though with more of a disco-meets-Meters feel. Then there's "Mama Don't"; its southwestern flavors surely inspired Giant Sand and the "desert rock" scene.
Justin Farrar

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