Johnny Cash: Forever Words

Johnny Cash: Forever Words


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In 1986, Johnny Cash's place in country music's pecking order had fallen so low that Columbia Records, his recording home since 1960, dropped him from their roster, claiming he was no longer marketable. Given this, perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment of Cash's late-period association with Rick Rubin and his American Recordings label (beginning with the 1994 album American Recordings) is that the world was reminded Cash was a major artist whose work was still powerfully relevant. Among his fans and his peers, respect for Cash had grown tremendously by the time he died in 2003, and since then, material from his archives has been steadily brought before the public. In 2016, a new wrinkle was introduced to Cash's posthumous legacy when a collection of his poems and lyrics, previously unknown, was published in a book titled Forever Words: The Unknown Poems. Now 16 of the pieces from that book have been set to music by a variety of musicians on an album called Johnny Cash: Forever Words. The artists adapting Cash's words range from longtime friends and associates (Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson) and members of the Cash family (Rosanne Cash and Carlene Carter) to contemporary country and roots music stars (Ruston Kelly & Kacey Musgraves and Brad Paisley) and some relative outliers who nevertheless respected Cash's vision (John Mellencamp and, in his final recording, Chris Cornell). While Cash's lyrical voice is strong in these recordings, each artist wrote and arranged their own music for the songs, and as a consequence this runs all over the stylistic map, from the purist's bluegrass of Alison Krauss' "The Captain's Daughter" and the dark, moody country rock of Cornell's "You Never Knew My Mind" to the eccentric orchestral sound of Elvis Costello's "I'll Still Love You." From a musical standpoint, Forever Words is as much about the musicians and what they see in Cash's words as it is about the Man in Black's secret life as a poet, and while every track was created with skill and evident respect to the lyricist, the lack of musical cohesion works against this as an album rather than just a set of songs. Johnny Cash: Forever Words has some brilliant moments and is an often-moving tribute to Cash's gifts as a writer, but as a listening experience, it's unfortunately inconsistent. Maybe some of this was better left on paper.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/06/2018
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0889854415327
catalogNumber: 544153
Rank: 17822

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Alison Krauss   Fiddle,Viola,Vocals
Carlene Carter   Vocals
Rosanne Cash   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Kris Kristofferson   Recitation
Willie Nelson   Acoustic Guitar
Elvis Costello   Mandolin,Piano,Celeste,Conductor,Vocals
Mike Henderson   Electric Guitar
Jewel   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Mart Avant   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Barry Bales   Upright Bass
Kevin Barry   Guitar
Ron Block   Acoustic Guitar
T Bone Burnett   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Chris Cornell   Vocals
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Dennis Crouch   Upright Bass
Mark Ferris   Violin
Tony Harrell   Piano,Keyboards
Jamie Hartford   Guitar (Baritone)
Byron House   Upright Bass
Zev Katz   Bass
Colin Linden   Electric Guitar
Gary Louris   Guitar,Vocals
John Mellencamp   Vocals
Greg Morrow   Drums,Doumbek
Bob Mummert   Drums
Tim O'Reagan   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Marc Perlman   Bass
Randy Scruggs   Acoustic Guitar
Pete Thomas   Drums
Robby Turner   Steel Guitar
Andy York   Acoustic Guitar
Karen Grotberg   Piano,Vocals
Cameron Wilson   Violin
Finn Manniche   Cello
Darrin Vincent   Vocals,Upright Bass
Kendall Marcy   Piano
Buddy Hyatt   Piano
Rick Lonow   Drums
Kenny Lewis   Bass
Miriam Sturm   Violin
Mike Webb   Organ
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Ira Dean   Guitar (Baritone)
Brad Turner   Cornet
Brad Paisley   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Matt Combs   Fiddle,Mandolin
Jeff Parker   Mandolin,Vocals
Jamie Dailey   Vocals
Isabelle Roland   Viola
Jeff Taylor   Keyboards,Dolceola
Sara Watkins   Violin,Vocals
Dan Reiser   Drums
Ben Sesar   Drums
Ana Cristina   Background Vocals
Aoife O'Donovan   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jeff Hannah   Guitar (Resonator)
Aaron McCune   Bass (Vocal)
John Jackson   Mandolin
Jessi Alexander   Background Vocals
Ryan Wariner   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
B.J. Cherryholmes   Fiddle
Jamey Johnson   Vocals
Justin Moses   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Mandolin
Troye Kinnett   Harmonica
Henry Lee   Viola
Kacey Musgraves   Vocals
Sarah Jarosz   Banjo,Vocals
A.K. Coope   Bass Clarinet
Dave Daeger   Acoustic Guitar
Shaun Richards   Acoustic Guitar
Dave Roe   Upright Bass
Dick Aven   Baritone Saxophone
Robert Glaser   Keyboards
Burniss Travis   Bass
Ruston Kelly   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Janas Hoyt Westcott   Background Vocals
Marcus Machado   Guitar
Kyle Ryan Hurlbut   Banjo
Ro James   Vocals
Kylie Kempster   Background Vocals
Dan Tyminski   Mandolin,Background Vocals
Mark McGregor   Alto Flute
Domagoj Icanovic   Violin
Rick Dorfer   Violin
Olivia Blander   Cello
Marcus Takazawa   Viola
Kasprzak   Double Bass
Justin Williams   Fiddle,Mandolin
Yun Jung   Violin
Ken Lin   Violin

Technical Credits

Carlene Carter   Composer
Johnny Cash   Composer,Producer
Rosanne Cash   Composer
Elvis Costello   Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Jewel   Composer
Steve Addabbo   Engineer
T Bone Burnett   Composer,Producer
Neal Cappellino   Engineer
Chris Cornell   Composer
David Leonard   Engineer
Gary Louris   Composer,Producer
John Mellencamp   Composer,Producer
Brendan O'Brien   Vocal Producer
Gary Paczosa   Producer,Engineer
John Paterno   Engineer
John Carter Cash   Producer
T.W. Cargile   Engineer
Brad Paisley   Composer
Luke Wooten   Engineer
Jamie Dailey   Composer
Robert Lee Castleman   Composer
Paul Silveira   Engineer
Kevin Ratterman   Engineer
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Rouble Kapoor   Engineer
Steve Berkowitz   Producer
John Jackson   Producer
Tom Syrowski   Engineer
Gary Myerberg   Engineer
Jamey Johnson   Composer
Anu~Sun   Composer,Producer,Engineer,beats
Kacey Musgraves   Composer
Chuck Turner   Engineer
Trey Call   Engineer
Roy Cash   Composer
Robert Glaser   Composer,Producer
Ruston Kelly   Composer
Ro James   Composer
I'm with Her   Composer,Producer
Tom Lelli   Engineer

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