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Reviving Johnny Cash's Songwriting Legacy: New 'Songwriter' Album Brings Unreleased 1993 Recordings to Life

In the realm of country music, few names evoke as much reverence and nostalgia as Johnny Cash and on June 28th we can relive the magic.


VIA MERCURY NASHVILLE/UMe


The Man in Black left an indelible mark on the genre, not just with his iconic voice and stage presence, but also with his profound songwriting. Now, over two decades after his passing, Cash enthusiasts have reason to rejoice as eleven previously unreleased songs are set to breathe new life into his storied legacy.


In a delightful revelation for fans worldwide, it has been announced that a collection of demos recorded by Cash back in 1993 will finally be unveiled to the public on an upcoming album titled Songwriter, scheduled for release on June 28th. These demos, though incomplete at the time, offer a captivating glimpse into Cash's creative process and showcase his raw talent in its purest form.


One such gem from this treasure trove, "Well Alright," was released today, tantalizing listeners with its sassy, foot-stomping rhythm and trademark Cash lyricism. With lines like, "I met her at the laundromat, she was washing extra hot / I said don’t you need a little help with that big load you got?" Cash once again proves his prowess at blending storytelling with irresistible melodies.


But what sets Songwriter apart is not just the rediscovery of these forgotten tracks, but the meticulous effort that has gone into transforming them into fully realized compositions. With guest appearances by luminaries such as Vince Gill and rock outfit the Black Keys, and a backing band comprised of Cash's longtime collaborators including Marty Stuart and Pete Abbott, each song has been lovingly crafted to honor Cash's vision.





At the helm of this ambitious project is none other than John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny Cash, who has worked tirelessly alongside producer David "Fergie" Ferguson to ensure that his father's musical legacy is treated with the respect it deserves. Drawing upon his intimate knowledge of Cash's oeuvre, John Carter Cash has overseen every aspect of the album's production, from selecting the songs to preserving the integrity of his father's original recordings.


“Dad’s advice with anything, whether it was life or making music, was always ‘follow your heart,” said John Carter in a press release. And it is this truism of his father’s that let guide him every step of the way when making Songwriter. After stripping the original recordings back to just Johnny’s vocals and guitar, he reached out to Fergie, a longtime friend and Johnny’s go-to engineer for nearly thirty years, and the two set off to create an album that would honor and amplify Johnny’s songwriting and timeless voice, while staying true to the spirit of the recordings. Along with John Carter, Fergie is arguably one of the people that knew best what Johnny liked when it came to recording as they worked together beginning in the early 1980s when he was Cowboy Jack Clement’s in-house engineer where Johnny often liked to record. He would go on to work with him on many records, including most of his Mercury albums and the acclaimed American Recordings series with Rick Rubin, even recording his last-ever songs in his final days in 2003. “He was always my hero and I just felt like the luckiest guy in the world to get to record him,” said Fergie.


The story behind these demos adds another layer of intrigue to their rediscovery. Recorded during a period when Cash found himself between recording contracts, they offer a snapshot of an artist in transition, exploring new avenues of creativity while staying true to his roots. Ultimately, Cash's encounter with producer Rick Rubin and the groundbreaking "American Recordings" series would eclipse these early efforts, but their significance in understanding his evolution as a songwriter cannot be overstated.



VIA MERCURY NASHVILLE/UMe


As we eagerly await the release of Songwriter, let us celebrate the enduring legacy of Johnny Cash and the timeless music he left behind. In a world where trends come and go, his songs remain as relevant and resonant as ever, a testament to the enduring power of authentic storytelling.


So mark your calendars and prepare to embark on a journey through the heart and soul of one of country music's greatest icons. The Man in Black may no longer walk among us, but his music lives on, inspiring new generations to keep the flame of true artistry burning bright.


JOHNNY CASH – SONGWRITER TRACKLISTING

CD/DIGITAL

1. Hello Out There2. Spotlight

3. Drive On

4. I Love You Tonite

5. Have You Ever Been to Little Rock?

6. Well Alright

7. She Sang Sweet Baby James

8. Poor Valley Girl

9. Soldier Boy

10. Sing It Pretty Sue

11. Like A Soldier

 

VINYL

Side A

1. Hello Out There

2. Spotlight

3. Drive On

4. I Love You Tonite

5. Have You Ever Been To Little Rock?

Side B

1. Well Alright

2. She Sang Sweet Baby James

3. Poor Valley Girl

4. Soldier Boy

5. Sing It Pretty Sue

6. Like A Soldier

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