Dr. John’s posthumous Things Happen that Way raises a few questions: 

Were the guests pre-planned or were Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real brought in to round out incomplete pieces?

Why does Willie Nelson appear on “Gimme that Old Time Religion” but not “Funny How Time Slips Away,” which opens the LP with John singing, “Well, hello there” from the great beyond?

Who is the uncredited woman behind the gorgeous vocals on the Traveling Wilburys’ “End of the Line” (with Neville) and the original “Holy Water?” 

The answers are elusive. But this much is certain: Things Happen that Way, with its simmering stew of jazz, funk, rock and country, is an appropriate cap to John’s formidable discography. 

John revisits “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” with POTR and brings the voodoo. He’s all boo-hoo on Hank Williams’ weepy “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” And the Good Doctor proves he still had a lot of living do with the good juju of “Give Myself a Good Talkin’ To.” 

It should’ve been a late-career highlight. Instead, it’s a musical epitaph; Things Happen that Way.