Johnny Cash: Forever Words – a collaborative album featuring Johnny Cash's unknown poetry, lyrics and letters – will be released on April 6th via Legacy Recordings. The icon's words will be set to music and performed by an all-star lineup that includes Chris Cornell, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash and John Mellencamp, among others.
Co-produced by Johnny and June Carter Cash's son John Carter Cash, the material is culled from what their son described in a statement as a "monstrous amassment" of Johnny Cash's handwritten letters, poems and documents that were uncovered following the deaths of his parents. From love letters ("To June This Morning") to Cash's final poem ("Forever/I Still Miss Someone"), the words were written across the span of Johnny Cash's lifetime.
Recorded primarily at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, over the past two years, album producers Cash and Steve Berkowitz invited the A-list album cast – which also includes T Bone Burnett, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kirtofferson, Brad Paisley, Carlene Carter and the Jayhawks – to craft new music to pair with the newly found writings.
"Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart," John Carter Cash said in a statement. "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."
The album serves as a musical complement to Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, which contains Cash's formerly unpublished writing and served as inspiration for some of the album's songs. The 16-song set is available for preorder and will come in CD, two-LP vinyl and digital formats.
Johnny Cash: Forever Words Track List
1. "Forever/I Still Miss Someone" – Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
2. "To June This Morning" – Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves
3. "Gold All Over the Ground" – Brad Paisley
4. "You Never Knew My Mind" – Chris Cornell
5. "The Captain's Daughter" – Alison Krauss and Union Station
6. "Jellico Coal Man" – T Bone Burnett
7. "The Walking Wounded" – Rosanne Cash
8. "Them Double Blues" – John Mellencamp
9. "Body on Body" – Jewel
10. "I'll Still Love You" – Elvis Costello
11. "June's Sundown" – Carlene Carter
12. "He Bore It All" – Dailey & Vincent
13. "Chinky Pin Hill" – I'm With Her
14. "Goin', Goin', Gone" – Robert Glasper featuring Ro James,and Anu Sun
15. "What Would I Dreamer Do?" – The Jayhawks
16. "Spirit Rider" – Jamey Johnson