Wednesday, August 8, 2012


This week, Sony Legacy released We Walk The Line: A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash. It's a live album of a concert recorded earlier this year in Austin, Texas.  An impressive group of singers joined an amazing house band to pay tribute to the songs that Johnny sang.  He didn't always write the songs he sang, but when the man took a tune on, it belonged to him.

My favorite performance on the album is Lucinda Williams doing Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt," which Johnny covered on American IV: The Man Comes Around. But there are a lot of great performances here.  Jamey Johnson is kind of the perfect guy to sing Johnny songs: he does "Sunday Morning Coming Down" with Kris Kristofferson, which is great.   Buddy Miller's "Hey Porter" is great, as is the Carolina Chocolate Drops' "Jackson," Shooter Jennings' "Cocaine Blues" and Willie Nelson's "I Still Miss Someone."

The most moving part of the night might have been the cover of The Highwaymen's "Highwayman."  The Highwaymen were, of course, Cash, Willie, Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings.  So, this version featured Willie and Kristofferson, along with Jamey Johnson singing Johnny's part, and Shooter singing his dad's part.  I got chills listening.  Also, the arrangement is way cooler than the original from the album.

I have to give it up to the house band: Buddy Miller on guitar, Blue Note Records president Don Was on bass, Greg Leisz on slide guitar, Kenny Aronoff on drums and Ian McLagan on keyboards.  Mr. McLagan actually told me all about the show in a recent interview. He told me there'd probably be some kind of tour supporting it, with the house band and different singers in each city.  I hope that that's still on.  Hell, I don't care if they get any famous singers: just put Buddy Miller on the mic, that's good enough for me!

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