Unearthed 1993 Johnny Cash Album Being Released This Summer

Unearthed 1993 Johnny Cash Album Being Released This Summer

In the late ’80s, the late Johnny Cash, a mythic figure in the annals of country music, was dropped from his contract at longtime home Columbia Records. From there, Cash went to Mercury, but that deal didn’t last long. For a little while in the ’90s, Johnny Cash was without a label. Then he signed to Rick Rubin’s American label and released the Rubin-produced 1994 album American Recordings, which kicked off a late-career renaissance and cemented Cash’s legend status. Just before he signed with Rubin, though, Cash recorded an album’s worth of demos that have never been released. That’s about to change.

Early in 1993, Johnny Cash went to Nashville’s LSI Studios, which was owned by his daughter and son-in-law, and recorded demos of songs that he’d written over the years, some of which date back to the ’70s. Cash himself was the sole songwriter of all the tracks. The recordings were shelved after Cash signed with Rick Rubin, but his son John Carter Cash recently rediscovered the tapes, which were just Cash’s voice and acoustic guitar, with his late friend Waylon Jennings singing on a couple of the tracks. John Carter Cash then set about finishing those recordings.

John Carter Cash co-produced the finished version of the rediscovered album Songwriter with David “Fergie” Ferguson, Johnny Cash’s longtime engineer. They brought in two of Cash’s former sidemen, guitarist Marty Stuart and late stand-up bassist Dave Roe, as well as former Average White Band drummer Dave Abbott. The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach also came in to play a guitar solo on one song, while Vince Gill sings on another track, and various other Nashville studio musicians help out on different numbers. The previously unreleased album is set to come out this summer. Below, hear the playful single “Well Alright” and check out the LP’s tracklist.

01 “Hello Out There”
02 “Spotlight”
03 “Drive On”
04 “I Love You Tonite”
05 “Have You Ever Been To Little Rock?”
06 “Well Alright”
07 “She Sang Sweet Baby James”
08 “Poor Valley Girl”
09 “Soldier Boy”
10 “Sing It Pretty Sue”
11 “Like A Soldier”

Songwriter is out 6/28 on Mercury Nashville/UMe.

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