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'To Tulsa and Back' with J.J. Cale

'To Tulsa and Back'
'To Tulsa and Back'

Since the mid-1960s, songwriter J.J. Cale's work has attracted the attention of some of rock's most successful artists. Many of Cale's songs would later become hits for rockers like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.

But Cale's influence extends well beyond the charts. His laid back, unpretentious style and shuffling rhythms set the stage for "roots rock" explorations by countless other artists and groups over the last four decades.

NPR's Liane Hansen talks to Cale about his career and his first collection of new songs in eight years, To Tulsa and Back.

The album sent Cale from from his home in southern California to his Oklahoma hometown. He asked an old friend who runs a recording studio in Tulsa to "call all the guys that are still alive... and I'll make another record."

The result is 13 varieties of vintage Cale material, including "Stone River," an understated protest song about the water crisis in the West. Cale wouldn't be surprised to see a few tracks from the disc climb the charts -- for another artist. "They're all out there for anybody to record," he says. "That's why I write them."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.