A trove of previously unreleased songs recorded by American music icon J.J. Cale during his early, and arguably most influential, years will at long last be released. Featuring vintage tracks from Cale’s legendary tenures at Shelter Records and Mercury Records, Rewind: Unreleased Recordings’ will be in stores on October 2nd. Recorded at the same time Eric Clapton introduced Cale’s songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" to mainstream audiences, Rewind is a remarkable collection of songs that epitomize the distinctive sound and style that Cale built. "Hearing them took me back to what I was doing then and where I was when I was doing it," says Cale. "It’s like looking at old family photographs."
Not only are Rewind’s eight Cale-penned songs a time capsule of musical treasures, he also personally selected several covers to include on the album. Cale devotees know that it is exceedingly rare for Cale to record another songwriter’s material, making these songs particularly extraordinary. He puts his personal stamp on "Golden Ring," written by Eric Clapton, Leon Russell’s "My Cricket," the Waylon Jennings track "Waymore’s Blues" and Randy Newman’s "Rollin’." Throughout the album, Cale is accompanied by some of the greatest musicians of the era, including guitarist Richard Thompson, Tim Drummond on bass (Neil Young), Glen D. Hardin on piano (Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons), Muscle Shoals studio band member Spooner Oldham on organ, and drummer Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, John Lennon) among others.
The tracks had been under the care of Cale’s longtime producer, Audie Ashworth, since they were recorded in the ’70s and early ’80s. When he passed away in 2000, Ashworth’s wife Bonnie stepped in as guardian of the tapes. More than a decade has been spent trying to bring these recordings out of storage and into the hands of Cale’s devoted fans but a variety of circumstances long delayed their release. Bonnie Ashworth explains, "We feel the time is right to share these recordings with J.J. Cale’s fans. We are very excited to have found a home for them with Time Life. They released the critically-acclaimed DVD To Tulsa And Back: On Tour With J.J. Cale last year, and we believe this is a great fit for this project as well." A&R veteran Bas Hartong, who worked alongside Cale and the Ashworths throughout the project’s entire journey, adds, "We at Time Life like to focus on uniquely American artists and musicians and no one fits that description better than J.J. Cale, whom I have had the pleasure of working with for many years. Cale has managed to stay highly influential to several generations of artists while never really changing who he is or how he approaches his craft."