Johnny Cash: American Recordings V

Wondering what you folks think of this–was just listening to it. So sad…yet there is a certain power to it.

I’ve only heard ‘309’ on the radio, but I dig that. I need to get around to picking this one up. I dig Cash.

They’re playing his version of God’s Gonna Cut You Down on alternative radio on Sirius Satellite. It’s badass.

Thing is, this isn’t Johnny’s epitaph. Rubin’s already said that you can expect an American VI sometime down the road. I don’t know what that will entail, given the rough state of the songs on this disc, though. Johnny’s final mumbles through an oxygen mask, livened up after the fact by Benmont Tench on keys?

I like V a fair bit, though I’m not sure it’s the music or the knowledge that Cash was performing these songs in the weeks before he died. If I didn’t know anything about him, or the situation in which these tunes were recorded, I think I might find the whole thing kind of sloppy. Some of the backing music seems way off, which is understandable seeing how the disc was pretty much hacked together. I’m a Lightfoot fan, too, so I can’t help but love Johnny’s take on “If You Could Read My Mind.”

As I’ve read, this wasn’t hacked together so much.

Cash was recording up until, literally, the week before he died. By then, he was almost blind and in a wheelchair. His producer kept recording engineers and backup musician(s) on standby so that Cash could record whenever he felt up to it.

Absurd, yet flaccid.

According to the article in Rolling Stone, his son is assembling a group of artists that Johnny admired and have them record the songs in the “VI” book that Johnny left behind.