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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave (USA 2010)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

"Ain't No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down)" (Claude Ely; credited as Traditional) – 2:53
Originally recorded by Bozie Sturdivant in 1941;[23] Ely's version recorded in 1953

"Redemption Day" (Sheryl Crow) – 4:22
Originally recorded by Crow for the album Sheryl Crow (1996)

"For the Good Times" (Kris Kristofferson) – 3:22
Originally recorded by Kristofferson for the album Kristofferson (1970)

"I Corinthians 15:55" (Johnny Cash) – 3:38
Based on 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

"Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound" (Tom Paxton) – 3:26
Originally recorded by Paxton for the album Ramblin' Boy (1964)

"A Satisfied Mind" (Red Hayes, Jack Rhodes) – 2:48
Originally recorded by Porter Wagoner in 1955

"I Don't Hurt Anymore" (Don Robertson, Walter E. Rollins) – 2:45
Originally recorded by Hank Snow in 1954 and also an R&B hit for Dinah Washington the same year

"Cool Water" (Bob Nolan) – 2:53
Originally written by Nolan in 1936; most famous version by The Sons of the Pioneers in 1948

"Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" (Ed McCurdy) – 3:14
Originally recorded by McCurdy in 1950

"Aloha Oe" (Queen Lili'uokalani) – 3:00
Originally written by Lili'uokalani in 1877; recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961 for Blue Hawaii

I just love Johnny Cash and now have all six of His American Recordings as well as the Unearthed Box Set.
Picked this up at Penny Lane along with the last CD I reviewed. You wonder what is left in the vaults of these recordings and whether they are just flogging a dead horse by releasing these last tracks that Johnny recorded in the last months of his life. I thought Vol. 5 was to be the last and he was sounding pretty frail on that release, so I wasn't in a hurry to get this(What I hope is) the last instalment in this series.
After several listens, this set, like the last, is not as strong as the earlier releases in the series, but neither is it disappointing. The subject matter of the songs is pretty melancholic and a little depressing in places but even in this frail state Johnny gives them his special treatment and I am still enjoying his awesome voice. Like the rest of the series, Johnny makes these songs his own and the recording  quality is superb as well as the musical backing.  Rating 3.5/5.

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