Album reviews for Aug. 7, 2014

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Gazette wire services
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jack Clement, "For Once and For All"

Jack Clement was a court jester who emphasized the joy of making music. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Clement made his mark as a producer (Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings), a songwriter and a studio owner.

The posthumous “For Once and For All” is only his third album, recorded after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died in August 2013 at 82, leaving behind an album that conveys why he was such a creative catalyst.

The album captures Clement’s breezy personality and love for wistful songs about lost love and touching story songs. His voice shows some age, but it’s also warm and expressive, especially on such songs as “Got Leaving On Her Mind” and “I Know One,” both songs Clement wrote for Charley Pride.

The guests underscore his high standing among artists, including Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, T Bone Burnett, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Leon Russell and others. The music is spare yet perfectly played.

Everything echoes a bygone era that emphasized ensemble play and melodies over dramatics. It’s a perfect parting shot from a master who contributed greatly to the American songbook.

—Michael McCall, Associated Press

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