Lost in the Block Party madness was the acknowledgment on Line Out that blues-rock legend JJ Cale suffered a fatal heart attack July 26 in La Jolla, California. He was 74.

I said just about everything I’ve ever wanted to say the Oklahoma singer/songwriter/guitarist in this feature from 2009, the time of his last Seattle appearance. Here's a key passage:

Like very few musicians in history, Cale has become a genre unto himself. Some artists strive to reinvent themselves with every new work. Cale is totally comfortable doing his own thing, with minor variations, year after year. Like the character in one of his best-known and oft-covered compositions, "Call Me the Breeze," Cale "keep[s] blowing down the road... Ain't no change in the weather/Ain't no change in me."

Those lyrics encapsulate the core paradox of Cale's art: He keeps rollin' along, but he remains relatively static as he progresses. Ordinarily, critics disparage such a stagnant MO. However, Cale thrives within limited parameters. There's something to be said for finding a signature sound and honing it till it becomes an artful science, while spinning minute variations on that approach.

You’ve probably heard Eric Clapton’s covers of Cale’s “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” dozens of times and perhaps you've caught the Allman Brothers’ or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s or Johnny Cash’s renditions of the motorik boogie of “Call Me the Breeze,” which Spiritualized also appropriated for their track “Run.” They’re all fine versions, but nobody could quite replicate Cale’s special brand of spare, laid-back groove and mellow vocal rasp. You should track down his first four albums—Naturally, Really, Okie, and Troubadour—and chill with one of the coolest dudes ever to step inside a studio. RIP, JJ Cale.