When: Thu., April 29, 7 p.m. 2010
Not only does Cowboy Jack Clement remain our link to a time when giants walked the earth, he’s something of a sequoia himself: a renegade producer, songwriter, artist, music exec, cut-up and raconteur who was pretty much an obstetrician at the birth of rock ’n’ roll. He recorded Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” at Sun Records, wrote Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way,” contributed the mariachi horn riff on Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” gave George Jones, Charley Pride and Townes Van Zandt crucial career boosts, produced the Memphis sessions for U2’s Rattle and Hum — and we’re just getting warmed up. He’s also an ex-ukulele manufacturer, a one-time horror-movie mogul, a ballroom dancer of considerable repute — and Exhibit A in Nashville’s defense when anyone tries to claim the city’s music industry is nothing but stuffy suits. The Cowboy rides again for this benefit for the Nashville-based National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and his posse includes bluegrass wunderkinden Old Crow Medicine Show as well as Shawn Camp, Billy Burnette and Marley’s Ghost. General admission is $40, but $60 gets you a pre-show dinner and reception with Cowboy Jack himself — and we can tell you from experience, paying $20 extra to hang out with Jack Clement is one of the best deals you’ll ever encounter.