Call Me the Breeze

"Call Me the Breeze" is a rock song by J. J. Cale. It first appeared on his 1972 debut album, Naturally, as the opening track. The song consists of a 12-bar blues guitar shuffle and features the early use of a drum machine.

"Call Me the Breeze"
Song by J. J. Cale
from the album Naturally
GenreBlues rock
Songwriter(s)J. J. Cale
Producer(s)Audie Ashworth
Official audio
"Call Me the Breeze" on YouTube

Lynyrd Skynyrd versionEdit

"Call Me the Breeze"
Song by Lynyrd Skynyrd
from the album Second Helping
RecordedJanuary 1974
  • Sounds of the South
  • MCA
Songwriter(s)JJ Cale
Producer(s)Al Kooper

Like many Cale songs, "Call Me the Breeze" has been covered numerous times by an assortment of musicians, most notably Lynyrd Skynyrd on their albums Second Helping (1974) and the live disc One More from the Road (1976), Mason Proffit on their 1972 album Rockfish Crossing, Bobby Bare on his album Bobby Bare - The Country Store Collection (1988), Johnny Cash on his album Water from the Wells of Home (1988) with his son John Carter Cash, John Mayer on his 2013 album Paradise Valley, and UK singer Alan Price on his 1977 album Two of a Kind with Rob Hoeke. Many of the cover versions available have been performed as tributes to Lynyrd Skynyrd. For example, Les Claypool covers it on his album Under The Influence, A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd.[1]

Eric Clapton's adaptationEdit

"They Call Me the Breeze"
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
ReleasedJune 30, 2014 (2014-06-30)
GenreRock · pop rock
LabelSurfdog · Polydor
Songwriter(s)JJ Cale
Producer(s)Clapton · Simon Climie
Eric Clapton singles chronology
"All of Me"
"They Call Me the Breeze"
"Don't Wait"
Music video
"Eric Clapton & Friends - Call Me The Breeze (Official Lyric Video)" on YouTube

Performance and releaseEdit

JJ Cale performed the song along with his longtime friend Eric Clapton, at Clapton's 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival.[2] The version, featuring an extended guitar solo by Clapton, is included on the official Crossroads DVD released in late 2004.[3] Later, when Clapton got the news that Cale had died, he performed various tunes composed by JJ Cale for his 2013 Baloise Session concert, dedicating his performance to Cale.[4] For his 2014 tribute-album to JJ Cale, titled The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale, Clapton covered the song with the original drum machine sound at the beginning, saying it's not possible to really cover Cale's work: "You can hear the drum machine and JJ rambling at the beginning there".[5] His take on the song was released under the title "They Call Me the Breeze" as a promotional single on June 30, 2014 for Surfdog and Polydor Records, accessible via digital music download.[6]

Music videoEdit

On June 6, 2014, Clapton's management published the official lyric video with licence to Warner Bros. Records on his YouTube channel, before the album's release.[7] Twenty days later the official music video was released and was directed by Joseph Toman.[8] It features original photographic and videographic material of both Cale, and Clapton with Cale. The video opens with Clapton, hitchhiking with his guitar case in a rural location, holding a sign for Escondido, mimicking the cover art of the duo's album, The Road to Escondido. He is picked up by a car. The car footage is interspersed with Clapton who is seen singing and playing the song on a guitar given to him by Cale in 2006.[5] The video shows Cale enjoying the classic American lifestyle. While driving around, Clapton chats to the driver, portrayed by English actor and director Dexter Fletcher about Cale, explaining that he wants to visit Escondido because an "old mate used to live there". Clapton pays tribute to Cale saying "he was a fantastic guy and a great musician ... he was my hero." The video ends with a shot of Clapton congratulating Cale after their performance at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas.[9]

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2014) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 52
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[11] 16
Poland (LP3)[12] 23

Johnny Cash's versionEdit

"Call Me the Breeze"
Song by Johnny Cash (featuring John Carter Cash)


  1. ^ "Under the Influence: A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "JJ Cale, Eric Clapton (After Midnight & Call me the Breeze)". Ant Varandonis. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "Eric Clapton – Crossroads Guitar Festival (DVD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "Eric Clapton - Baloise Session – Basel Switzerland 2013". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Eric Clapton discusses "The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)"". Eric Clapton. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "Eric Clapton – They Call Me The Breeze –". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Stefan Hung – Hung Medien. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "Eric Clapton & Friends – Call Me The Breeze (Official Lyric Video)". Eric Clapton. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Eric Clapton 'Call Me The Breeze' by Joseph Toman | Videos | Promonews". Promonewstv.
  9. ^ "Eric Clapton & Friends – Call Me The Breeze (Official Music Video)". Eric Clapton. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  10. ^ "Eric Clapton – They Call Me The Breeze" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Eric Clapton – They Call Me The Breeze" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  12. ^ "Call Me the Breeze – Eric Clapton" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved August 16, 2015.