Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Johnny Cash redux


If you like Johnny Cash, then I think that you have reason to be excited. Recently, in Johnny's basement, dozens and dozens of tapes were discovered. And, come May, these tapes will begin to happen. This article in Rolling Stone gives the lowdown.

I recommend that you read the article, but if there just isn't time, then at least read this:
"In July 1973, Johnny Cash spent several days in the studio at his House of Cash offices in Hendersonville, Tennessee, recording songs and telling tales with just an acoustic guitar and his virile craggy baritone. He sang Tin Pan Alley hits, traditional folk and gospel tunes, new originals and favorite covers by the Louvin Brothers and Johnny Horton, among others. He recited poetry and reminisced about his teenage job as a water boy on a river-dredging crew and the hours he spent glued to the radio, loving and learning the very songs he sang in these sessions...

Personal File delivers a Cash even his most devoted fans have never heard before: at the height of his career and vocal power, telling the story of his life in music, as if he were sitting across from you. "This is his 'Basement Tapes,'" says Berkowitz, "as close as you can get to him singing on the porch." There was no documentation with the original reels to suggest Cash ever submitted them to Columbia, his label at the time. But John Carter Cash recalls his dad referring to these sessions at the time of his first album with producer Rick Rubin, 1994's stripped-back American Recordings. "He talked about how he'd made a record like it in the Seventies," John says, "but nobody was interested in putting it out."
If you are still reading at this point and are willing to have another Johnny Cash related recommendation thrown at you, then here it is. In 2005 a number of Norwegian bands got together and made a CD of covers. The result can be seen here. I am not actually sure where you can buy this CD, but if you are interested in me looking further, get in touch with me and I will look. The golden gem of this collection is "I Walk the Line" by Magnet. This haunting rendition is, I dare say, more moving than the original.

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