The Man In Black Back with New Tracks

Unearthed music from the vault of the late Johnny Cash was recently discovered by his son, John Carter Cash, and is coming this summer. The album, titled Songwriter, lands on June 28 and features close Cash collaborator Marty Stuart along with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, drummer Pete Abbotts, and bassist Dave Roe, who passed away last year.

Cash believes there’s an audience who’s never heard his father’s music and will find a new interest in the album. According to the 54-year-old country singer-songwriter, “Dad’s advice with anything, whether it was life or making music, was always ‘follow your heart.’ Nobody plays Cash better than Marty Stuart, and Dave Roe played with Dad for many years. The musicians that came in were just tracking with Dad, you know, recording with Dad, just as, in the case of Marty and Dave, they had many times before, so they knew his energies, his movements, and they let him be the guide. It was just playing with Johnny once again, and that’s what it was. That was the energy of the creation.”

The only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash added, “I wanted it to be songs that mostly people hadn’t heard and that paid close attention to who he was as a songwriter and who he was as an American voice. One of my most important focuses in the past 10 years is to make sure that history, as best that I can possibly, is to give history the opportunity to notice him as the great writer he is.  Bob Dylan says he’s one of the greatest writers of all of American written music and I agree. I want to put that in the forefront.”

Shelved and forgotten, Johnny Cash wrote and recorded the songs in 1993 when he was between recording contracts and holed up in LSI Studios in Nashville. According to a press release, they have been stripped back “to just Johnny’s powerful, pristine vocals and acoustic guitar,” but with new backing tracks.

The “Man in Black” received multiple awards throughout his storied career and has been inducted into five major music halls of fame. His career and talents extended beyond music evident by the many starring roles he played in movies and television programs. The “Boy Named Sue” singer was also not defined by any single genre. He exerted an influence by recording songs in genres that include blues, folk, gospel, rockabilly, and rock and roll. Johnny Cash died of complications from diabetes on September 12, 2003, at age 71, less than four months following the death of his wife June Carter Cash.

-Sharon Oliver

Photo: Johnny Cash (Getty Images)

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