Kacey Musgraves married fellow Nashville musician Ruston Kelly last year, and her new album Golden Hour taps into the awe-inspiring power of love. Though the two met at a songwriting night, we haven’t heard any of their collaborative work yet. When I interviewed Musgraves last month, she told me that she and Kelly collaborated with Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter, on a new project. Carter found a collection of his dad’s unreleased poems and lyrics and decided to bring some of his favorite musicians together to put those words to music. The result is a compilation called Johnny Cash: Forever Words, and it features contributions from Chris Cornell, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, John Mellencamp, Carlene Carter, and the Jayhawks.
Musgraves and Kelly were asked to reimagine a poem Johnny wrote to June when she was eight months pregnant, and they filmed a video for it at the couple’s former estate outside of Nashville. “It just felt like sacred ground,” Musgraves told me about the experience. “His son was there, all their belongings were there. Rusty played Johnny’s guitar on the recording. I don’t know, it was really special … John was like crying during us recording it and he was like, ‘I think my parents would be so proud of this.'”
The song is called “To June This Morning,” and Musgraves and Kelly recorded the track with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Watch the video below.
Johnny Cash: Forever Words is out now via Sony.