Photo: Heinrich Klaffs

Posthumous Johnny Cash Single: Look + Listen

A new posthumous  Johnny Cash album, Songwriter, filled with previously unreleased tunes written and performed by the Man in Black is set to arrive June 28 via Mercury Nashville/UMe.

The 11-track collection features songs Cash had written over many years, then finally put to tape during a demo session at LSI Studios in Nashville in early 1993. But that project was ultimately scrapped after Cash met Rick Rubin and the two struck up a prolific creative partnership that lasted through Cash’s death in 2003. 

After Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, rediscovered the LSI demos, he stripped the tapes down to just his father’s vocals and acoustic guitar. He then enlisted the help of co-producer David Ferguson (Cash’s go-to engineer during the Eighties and Nineties), and an array of musicians, including former Cash collaborators Marty Stuart and Dave Roe, to add new instrumentation to the songs. 

The first taste of Songwriter is “Well Alright,” which finds Cash at his most charming and flirtatious as he weaves a simple story of love at the laundromat. “Then I opened up the dryer and I set it on soft and light,” he sings, “She said, ‘Be gentle with my silk and lace’/And I said, ‘Well alright.’” 

Joining Stuart and Roe, who died in 2023, to round out Songwriter’s primary trio was drummer Pete Abbott of the Average White Band. The album also features the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who plays a guitar solo on “Spotlight,” and Vince Gill, who provides vocals on “Poor Valley Girl.” The late Waylon Jennings even appears on two songs, “I Love You Tonite” and “Like a Soldier,” having sung with Cash during the original LSI sessions.  

Other contributors include Ana Cristina Cash, Matt Combs, Mike Rojas, Sam Bacco, Kerry Marx, Harry Stinson, and Russ Pahl.

“Nobody plays Cash better than Marty Stuart, and Dave Roe of course played with dad for many years,” John Carter said in a statement. “The musicians that came in were just tracking with dad, you know, recording with dad, just as, in the case of Marty and Dave, they had many times before, so they knew his energies, his movements, and they let him be the guide. It was just playing with Johnny once again, and that’s what it was. That was the energy of the creation.”

Songwriter Track List
1. “Hello Out There”
2. “Spotlight”
3. “Drive On”
4. “I Love You Tonite”
5. “Have You Ever Been to Little Rock?”
6. “Well Alright”
7. “She Sang Sweet Baby James”
8. “Poor Valley Girl”
9. “Soldier Boy”
10. “Sing It Pretty Sue”
11. “Like a Soldier”

Keep up with the latest trending music news by following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Heinrich Klaffs