Johnny Cash would have turned 87 this week. To honor the Man in Black on his birthday, folk singer Todd Snider unveiled the new single “The Ghost of Johnny Cash” from his forthcoming album Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3, which will be released March 15th via Aimless Records/Thirty Tigers.
The dark ballad was co-written by Snider and John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny Cash, who died on September 12th, 2003, and June Carter Cash, who passed away just months before her husband in May of the same year.
Snider recorded his acoustic-driven new effort at Johnny Cash’s Cash Cabin Studio (now owned by John Carter) in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The album’s latest release, anchored by sparse, country-blues picking, nods to a recording session at the same studio a few years earlier, when Loretta Lynn made her 2016 album Full Circle. In an interview with Garden & Gun shortly after her album’s release, Lynn claimed she saw the deceased Cash walk into the studio while she was singing.
In the lyrics, Snider sings about John Carter recounting the incident and ties it to a broader reach for spiritual connection in the chorus: “When Loretta Lynn goes dancing with the ghost of Johnny Cash, Father Time take forever and make it look like less than lightning flash.”
Snider will tour this spring in support of Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3, which he’s stated was inspired by a recurring dream about Cash. He next performs in New York City at the Gramercy Theatre on March 13th.