The late Johnny Cash’s work continues to be celebrated with vinyl box sets and unearthed live recordings, and now some the country great’s poetry has been transformed into music for a compilation dubbed Johnny Cash: Forever Words. It’s due out on April 6 Legacy Recordings in CD, 2-LP and digital formats.
The collection features new songs inspired by a collection Cash’s unpublished poems, lyrics and letters. Many the new songs are derived from the 2016 book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, though some artists went further and delved into other unpublished Cash works.
The cast contributing artists is an impressive one, featuring musical adaptations and performances by Kris Kristferson, Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Elvis Costello, Robert Glasper and more. Family members Roseanne Cash and Carlene Carter also appear.
The album was primarily recorded at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN, and was produced by Cash’s son John Carter Cash and Steve Berkowitz.
“Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter the heart,” John Carter Cash said in a statement about the project. “I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted.”
See which artists ended up creating which songs by checking out the full tracklisting for Johnny Cash: Forever Words below. Beyond that, watch a trailer for the upcoming compilation.
Johnny Cash: Forever Words:
1. Kris Kristferson and Willie Nelson – “Forever/I Still Miss Someone”
2. Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves – “To June This Morning”
3. Brad Paisley – “Gold All Over the Ground”
4. Chris Cornell – “You Never Knew My Mind”
5. Alison Krauss and Union Station – “The Captain’s Daughter”
6. T. Bone Burnett – “Jellico Coal Man”
7. Rosanne Cash – “The Walking Wounded”
8. John Mellencamp – “Them Double Blues”
9. Jewel – “Body on Body”
10. Elvis Costello – “I’ll Still Love You”
11. Carlene Carter – “June’s Sundown”
12. Daily and Vincent – “He Bore It All”
13. I’m With Her – “Chinky Pin Hill”
14. Robert Glasper featuring Ro James, and Anu Sun – “Goin’, Goin’, Gone”
15. The Jayhawks – “What Would I Dreamer Do?”
16. Jamey Johnson – “Spirit Rider”