Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
128

Various Artists: Johnny

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: Johnny Johnny Cash has always championed the little guy who faces down the giants in his world with a mature sense of satisfaction. In his memorable musical stories, Cash tells about how corporate headquarters doesn’t know what’s going on right in their own backyards, about how the tax man and the toll taker don’t realize that the little guy has found a loophole, about how someone was unfaithful to someone else for just a little bit, and about how the prison guards don’t realize that not everybody is the enemy. Sometimes, as with many blues and country & western songs, the singer paints a sorrowful picture, but Cash has always provided some kind of hope. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

NorthernBlues has put together an interesting collection of Johnny Cash songs – the songs that have helped mold our characters and have turned more than just a few days around in a positive manner. The lyrics take center stage, as each of the lead singers involved in this tribute project interprets these songs in his/her own sweet way. It takes getting used to. Johnny Cash has made such an impact over the years that many of these songs seem alien without Cash’s deep voice and unique form of expression. Only Sleepy Lebeef has made an attempt to imitate Johnny Cash, however, and since he’s singing “Frankie and Johnny,” that works out well.

Each of the others provides a truly unique interpretation. Corey Harris incorporates natural percussion and chanted vocals into his impassioned study of “Redemption.” Maria Muldaur settles in with a deep, comfortable tradition for “Walking the Blues.” Chris Thomas King sings “Rock Island Line” with simple, linear accompaniment. Gatemouth Brown swings lightly through “Get Rhythm” and Harry Manx soliloquies somberly on “Long Black Veil.” Kevin Breit’s instrumental arrangement of “Send a Picture of Mother” includes a festive Latin air, while Colin Linden’s contemporary take on “Big River” drives his rhythm section indelibly deep. The album finishes with a quiet, family gathering of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” by Mavis Staples with guitar, harmonica, keyboard, bass and hand claps.

Johnny’s Blues pays homage to the man and his songs with utmost respect. NorthernBlues’ talented artists have paid Cash a superb compliment by sharing their own unique interpretations of his music.


Track Listing: Train Of Love; Get Rhythm; Walking the Blues; Rock Island Line; I Walk the Line; Folsom Prison Blues; Long Black Veil; Sunday Mornin

Personnel: Clarence

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: NorthernBlues Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tanbou Toujou Lou: Merengue, Kompa Kreyou, Vodou Jazz & Electric...
Tanbou Toujou Lou:...
Ostinato Records
2016
buy
The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983
The Boston Creative...
Cultures Of Soul Records
2016
buy
Celestial Blues: Cosmic, Political and Spiritual Jazz 1970 to 1974
Celestial Blues:...
BGP
2016
buy
Hungarian Noir
Hungarian Noir
Piranha
2016
buy
The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River
The New Basement...
Harvest Records
2015
buy
I Never Meta Guitar Three
I Never Meta Guitar...
Clean Feed Records
2015
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.