JJ Cale: After Midnight
I'm unafraid to post the obvious this week, given how rare it is after all these years: JJ Cale's '71 version of his own composition After Midnight, first recorded as a demo in '66 and subsequently made famous by Sir Eric Clapton.
Thanks to pop radio repetition, After Midnight generally clings to the cultural memory in Clapton's fast-paced runaway train cocaine tones, but Cale's take on the song remains my favorite by far: bluesy and blurred with muted tictoc drumkit and guitar strings, aided and abetted by subtle barrelhouse piano, yet quiet enough not to wake the house. If you've never heard the "original", prepare to be surprised by its sultry subtleties.
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