Johnny Cash: Ain’t No Grave. Fuck Yeah.

According to a story from the AP today, Johnny Cash’s last recordings will be released on Friday to commemorate the American icon’s 78th birthday.

Though it has been six years since Cash passed away following the death of his wife June, the songs on “American VI: Ain’t No Grave” were recorded by Cash before his death. His longtime producer Rick Rubin added the accompaniment afterwards, although this blogger kind of wishes you could just get the sparse recordings of Cash and his guitar without the additions.

From the AP Article:

“Like the series’ fifth disc, also released posthumously in 2006, it contains mostly recordings made by Cash in the last few months of his life. His way of working through the grief over his wife June’s death, also in 2003, was to work as much as his health permitted.

“When we first went back and listened to the recordings after he had passed, it really just felt like this voice coming back from another place,” Rubin said. “It had all this weight and gravity to it. It was scary.”

You can hear the good days and bad days in his voice. Sometimes it’s weak, as if Cash was struggling for his breath. Other times it’s stronger, more familiar to fans who have listened to him for decades.

When he had reached finished the fourth disc of the series that gave him a professional rebirth, Cash thought the run was over. He was a little melancholic — until Rubin told him they should start the next one tomorrow.

“His eyes lit up,” he said. “He really got excited. He didn’t know if he could do it, he didn’t know if anybody cared that he could do it. He felt like he’d given what he had to give. The possibility that there was more for him to give really excited him and from that moment on, he was really on.”

I’m not sure what to expect from this album, but if it’s anything like his haunted cover of NIN’s “Hurt” I’m going to be one happy fangirl…

Check out the title track

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~ by K. Ritcheson on February 23, 2010.

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