Cowboy Jack Clement
"Guess Things Happen That Way"
by Johanna J. Bodde



"Guess Things Happen That Way"
(Dualtone Records)
Also available via Glitterhouse mailorder

Cowboy Jack Clement calls himself a "professional fool" but is a living legend, 73 years old at the time of this CD's release. He was the right hand man of Sam Phillips in the Sun Studios and later in Nashville he produced albums by artists like Johnny Cash, Charley Pride, Doc Watson, Don Williams, Waylon Jennings and Louis Armstrong, he even worked with U2 on "Rattle And Hum"! His compositions were performed by many famous singers and he did everything a person can possibly do in the world of entertainment, that includes making a cult horror film...
"Guess Things Happen That Way" is his second solo-album and with all his experience he knows how this is supposed to sound. His one-of-a-kind arrangements were always his trademark, so Jack's musical pals came into the studio with a wide variety of instruments. A few of the well-known names? Kenny Malone, Ronnie McCoury, Joey Miskulin, Tim O'Brien and for the choruses The Jordanaires! Jack himself plays guitar, dobro and ukelele, his voice is a bit reminiscent of Billy Joe Shaver and Johnny Cash, he sounds -despite his advanced age- tiptop.
The songs, originals and covers, are picked out with great care. Opener "No Expectations" was featured in 1978 on Johnny's "Gone Girl", sung 

"real fast" like he wanted to do it, but Johnny Cash still came -just before he passed away- to Jack's studio for the title track and now the duet has that calypso / rumba style he already had in mind in 1957. We find here beautiful classic country songs, like "Dreaming My Dreams With You", that we know from Waylon Jennings and "There Ain't A Tune", but also funny stuff: "Drink Carrot Juice" would fit seamlessly in the repertoire of successful Dutch group the Amazing Stroopwafels!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.