Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Fabulous Johnny Cash / Songs Of Our Soil

The Johnny Cash commute fortnight is coming to a close, still not quite there but close enough. Today was a double album set of his third album, The Fabulous Johnny Cash and his sixth album, Songs Of Our Soil.
The first of the albums, The Fabulous Johnny Cash amongst its grooves features the now perennial I Still Miss Someone, I suspect this may be the first recording it appeared on, I would have to check that though. Johnny also gives his version of Frankie and Johnny, and a fine version it is too.
This Columbia album if anything went against it, it is perhaps that there are so few Johnny Cash penned songs on it, I Still Miss Someone, Run Softly Blue River, Pickin Time and the original version of Don’t Take Your Guns To Town. The latter is a fantastic measured performance with pauses in all of the right places, a far far superior version to the rerecorded versions from his later career.
Of the covers Shepherd of My Heart is a stand out track, Jenny Lou Carson penned the original and it is one that I will have to track down, here it in its correct context.
All in all, The Fabulous Johnny Cash, is fabulous. 10 out of 10.

Don’t Take Your Guns To Town by Johnny Cash

Song of Our Soil as I said was Johnny’s sixth album and a bit of a treat over all. The songs are taking a much darker tone that would remain throughout his career, indeed most of the songs tackle death in one capacity or another.
For the most part Johnny writes the songs, and a few greats show their faces for the first time, notably Five Feet High And Rising however the highlight for me is a track that also appears on the God compilation, The Great Speckled Bird, a song covered since by Lucinda Williams. A song that I am currently loving.
Songs Of Our Soil also has Cash singing the traditional song, My Grandfathers Clock, a song that I recall singing at junior school, if only I knew Cash had done it I may have been able to incorporate Cash’s growl into my rendition as a 10 year old. Finally this album also features the traditional song I Want To Go Home, or as it is more well known, Sloop John B. A better version. Songs Of Our Soil, 10 out of 10.

I Want to Go Home by Johnny Cash

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