J.J. Cale’s musician’s musician rep was forged early as his debut LP Naturally contained no less than three songs that would become significant tunes for other more famous performers — "After Midnight" was covered by Eric Clapton (its release in 1970 — based on a ‘66 demo by Cale — actually lead to this album being made), ”Call Me the Breeze” was covered by Lynyrd Skynrd and "Clyde" by Waylon Jennings. The album (advertised here in the November 13, 1971 issue of Billboard) was an early release on Leon Russell’s Shelter Records, also home to Tom Petty, Dwight Twilley (beloved author of this blog’s namesake), and The Gap Band.
The Tulsan’s early work is known for its laid back vocals, shuffling guitar and a strange — for the time — use of a primitive drum machine. Not only is Cale’s sound a template for the entire careers of Eric Clapton and Dire Straits, but drum machine songs such as "Crazy Mama" and "Call Me the Breeze" seem to me crucial to more esoteric works like Palace Music’s unimpeachable Arise Therefore (1996).

J.J. Cale’s musician’s musician rep was forged early as his debut LP Naturally contained no less than three songs that would become significant tunes for other more famous performers — "After Midnight" was covered by Eric Clapton (its release in 1970 — based on a ‘66 demo by Cale — actually lead to this album being made), ”Call Me the Breeze” was covered by Lynyrd Skynrd and "Clyde" by Waylon Jennings. The album (advertised here in the November 13, 1971 issue of Billboard) was an early release on Leon Russell’s Shelter Records, also home to Tom Petty, Dwight Twilley (beloved author of this blog’s namesake), and The Gap Band.

The Tulsan’s early work is known for its laid back vocals, shuffling guitar and a strange — for the time — use of a primitive drum machine. Not only is Cale’s sound a template for the entire careers of Eric Clapton and Dire Straits, but drum machine songs such as "Crazy Mama" and "Call Me the Breeze" seem to me crucial to more esoteric works like Palace Music’s unimpeachable Arise Therefore (1996).

(I Was Drunk at) The Pulpit
by Will Oldham, as performed by Palace Brothers, 1993
I was drunk at the pulpit, I knew it was wrongand I left in mid-sermon tempted by a bar-house songthe pews creaked and shifted as they turned to watch me leaveand I pulled a little bottle from the pocket in my sleeve
The sunlight was stronger to my church-dark widened eyesthan the light which had blinded me with Christ’s own half-liesyes mid-sunday morning, my old playmates satround a stumble stained table, Christopher spatand he kicked out a chair and showed me to sitthen they started back singing in that shit-smelling pitthey were grinning and dribbling with comforted headstheir wives were in church or at home and in bedswell I sucked down a cupful and God shone withinin a red earthen mask, and I saw where I’d been was a palace of sin.
Let them abstain on unbucking high horsespoor wooden structures which merely eye coursesthat these log heads run just to find some respitein the whiskey-induced holy unending nightyes I thought I saw new light, the black one which dimmedthe bleach garments with which mingled pee on stained rimsoh the church songs they paled next to this fiery choruscomposed from a living depth especially for us
There were arms linked in sympathy, gilded the glaringof these bloated companions, who hid ‘neath their swearingsome need for another, kin to brother lust,which coarse words and music, was faith and less trustyes I saw a dependence, an inherent weaknesswithin walls which hid sunlight and hindered all franknessthat floor there supported what souls couldn’t standon their own in their own eyes, to hint they are menwho are slave to their vision but to that aloneyes each of them cloistered fear of being alonewherever folks gather, to imply a rule,they are each one a sinner, each one a foolfor if I drink my whiskey, and if I sing a songI have no breast companion, a-trailing alongto imagine a sharing of burdens I earnedto steal from the embers i strove so to burnGod is one’s corpus, and Jesus one’s bloodthe world is within you, without is of mud…
(photo via aquariumdrunkard)

(I Was Drunk at) The Pulpit

by Will Oldham, as performed by Palace Brothers, 1993

I was drunk at the pulpit, I knew it was wrong
and I left in mid-sermon tempted by a bar-house song
the pews creaked and shifted as they turned to watch me leave
and I pulled a little bottle from the pocket in my sleeve

The sunlight was stronger to my church-dark widened eyes
than the light which had blinded me with Christ’s own half-lies
yes mid-sunday morning, my old playmates sat
round a stumble stained table, Christopher spat
and he kicked out a chair and showed me to sit
then they started back singing in that shit-smelling pit
they were grinning and dribbling with comforted heads
their wives were in church or at home and in beds
well I sucked down a cupful and God shone within
in a red earthen mask, and I saw where I’d been was a palace of sin.

Let them abstain on unbucking high horses
poor wooden structures which merely eye courses
that these log heads run just to find some respite
in the whiskey-induced holy unending night
yes I thought I saw new light, the black one which dimmed
the bleach garments with which mingled pee on stained rims
oh the church songs they paled next to this fiery chorus
composed from a living depth especially for us

There were arms linked in sympathy, gilded the glaring
of these bloated companions, who hid ‘neath their swearing
some need for another, kin to brother lust,
which coarse words and music, was faith and less trust
yes I saw a dependence, an inherent weakness
within walls which hid sunlight and hindered all frankness
that floor there supported what souls couldn’t stand
on their own in their own eyes, to hint they are men
who are slave to their vision but to that alone
yes each of them cloistered fear of being alone
wherever folks gather, to imply a rule,
they are each one a sinner, each one a fool
for if I drink my whiskey, and if I sing a song
I have no breast companion, a-trailing along
to imagine a sharing of burdens I earned
to steal from the embers i strove so to burn
God is one’s corpus, and Jesus one’s blood
the world is within you, without is of mud…

(photo via aquariumdrunkard)

R. Alverson’s new jerusalem

An advance poster for R. Alverson’s second feature film New Jerusalem.