Clancy Jones “Found My Way”

Independent, 2022

Memorable debut from Oklahoma-based Clancy Jones takes us out on the open road.

Artwork for Clancy Jones album "Found My Way""‘Found My Way’ is the debut album release from Oklahoma-based Clancy Jones, hailing originally from the southeast Texas coast. Opening track ‘Blacktop Bound’ sets out Jones’ stall from the start–its guitar riff and keys building to a driving rhythm, well suited to its theme, of the escape of hitting the open road, “pedal to the metal”, cos “I’ve been lost and I’ve been found/making one shot count this time around/I’ve paid the cost can’t lay on down/well I’m tied to this open road/I’m blacktop bound”. With distorted guitar and smoky vocals from Jones it makes you want to jump in your car and drive off into the sunset with the volume on your stereo turned up high.

Jones’ family heritage includes Moon Mullican, a third cousin known as the “King of the Hillbilly Piano Players”, whose credits include the original recording of ‘Seven Nights to Rock’, later covered by Nick Lowe and Asleep at the Wheel and featured in live sets by Brian Setzer, Bruce Springsteen,  and Bryan Adams. Mullican is credited by Jerry Lee Lewis as a key influence on his own distinctive style.

Though rooted in the rocking end of the Americana tradition, the seven tracks on the release have contemporary stylings which catch the ear, with the slower tempo ‘Circles’ switching in an instant from its eerie stripped-back opening with heavy bass and echo-heavy drum beats to an indie rock-influenced chorus.

Title track ‘Found My Way’ features prominent keys, and a repeated guitar motif, while ‘Mexican Gold’ takes us back to the open road with “Texas in my rearview/Mexico in my sights”, with hints of Link Wray in the big guitar strums which define the track, along with that driving beat again, a contender for a future Tarantino movie perhaps?

‘I Need You’ strikes a different note, led by acoustic guitar, with melodic electric guitar as Jones sings “I’ve been feeling this way for days/begging for it to go away/ I need you/Oh I need you/I knew it from the start/pulled the arrow out my heart/I need you/Oh I need you”. Jones returns to the road with the shuffle beat of ‘Need to be High’, singing “well the highways been my home/with each passing town/I have to find the reason/the reason I’ve been down”. The album closes with the atmospheric and reflective down tempo ‘Will and Testament’, Jones singing “cos I’m slow rolling/rolling my way back home/in old Oklahoma/your spirit lies deep in my bones”.

A characterful and memorable debut from Jones.

7/10
7/10

About David Jarman 72 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs

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