Photo: Harry Langdon/Getty Images
Chris Cornell, Willie Nelson Featured On New Johnny Cash Collection
A new collection of songs derived from lyrics left behind by late country legend Johnny Cash is on its way on April 6. Johnny Cash: Forever Words will feature contributions from Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Ruston Kelly and Kasey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, and late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell.
The core values of The Man In Black are celebrated on ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words,’ the new album featuring songs created from Cash’s unknown poetry, lyrics and letters. The album is available everywhere April 6. https://t.co/b5v2ntRxpU #Foreverwords pic.twitter.com/gAUXqPSTiR
— Johnny Cash (@JohnnyCash) February 8, 2018
The album's source material came from what its co-producer, Cash's son John Carter Cash, called a "monstrous amassment" of material left behind by Johnny and June Carter Cash. The 16-song collection serves as the musical companion to the 2016 book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems.
"The tone of the album is established with the opening track 'Forever/I Still Miss Someone,' featuring Kris Kristofferson reciting the last poem Cash ever wrote alongside guitar accompaniment from Willie Nelson, both lifelong friends of Johnny," said a statement about the collection. "Continuing the close-to-home theme, the music then transitions to the deeply personal 'To June This Morning,' a letter Johnny wrote to his wife, June Carter Cash, now interpreted by real-life couple Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves."
In one of Cornell's final known recordings, the singer provides an insightful return to Cash's cover of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage" from his Unchained album, which won the GRAMMY for Best Country Album at the 40th GRAMMY Awards, with his contribution to the collection, "You Never Knew My Mind."
Other notable appearances are Cash's eldest daughter Rosanne's "The Walking Wounded," John Carter Cash's half-sister Carlene's "June's Sundown" and Alison Krauss & Union Station's "The Captain's Daughter," which marks the first new recording in six years from the group.
"Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart," says John Carter Cash. "I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted."
Other contributors include Elvis Costello, the Jayhawks, T Bone Burnett, I'm With Her, Robert Glasper, Jewel, and John Mellencamp. Due out April 6, the album is available for pre-order via Cash's website.