Picks and Pans Review: The Adventures of Johnny Cash
It's no accident that this LP sounds much more traditional than Cash's most recent work. It was produced by Jack "Cowboy" Clement, who directed the 1957 Sun Records session at which Cash cut Clement's Guess Things Happen That Way and later produced Johnny's 1963 hit Ring of Fire. Clement had a falling out with Cash later and went on to produce Charlie Pride and Waylon Jennings, in addition to composing and recording on his own. Then in 1980 he and Cash reconciled, which led to Clement playing guitar on the Cash LP Gone Girl and eventually to this album. It includes songs by Merle Haggard, Billy Joe Shaver and Bob McDill and is heavy on train tracks—notably Shaver's Georgia on a Fast Train. It also includes a sweet duet by Cash and wife June Carter on Fair Weather Friends. In his dignified way, Cash can rockabilly with anyone, but it's still nice to hear him apply his most stolid of baritones to songs that seem connected to their all-American grass roots.