Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou
Harris and June Carter Cash lead the list of artists on a tribute
to country music pioneers the Carter Family due out next spring.
Produced by John Carter Cash — the son of Johnny Cash and his
late wife June Carter Cash — the collection was inspired by his
connecting with family history.
Natives of rural Virginia, A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter and
sister-in-law Maybelle Carter, performing as the Carter Family,
arranged and popularized traditional folk songs such as “Keep On
the Sunny Side,” “Wabash Cannonball” and “Will the Circle Be
Unbroken,” in the Twenties, Thirties and Forties.
John Carter Cash’s mother was Maybelle’s daughter, who performed
with the group from the time she was nine. “Growing up I took all
this stuff for granted,” he says. “I was into rock and heavy metal.
There’s an innocence, great charm and raw beauty that came through
“I’m picking true artists that have it in their heart to
interpret these things,” he continues. “People that have the
musical stature and character to take on these songs.”
Also among the artists is Marty Stuart who with his band, the
Fabulous Superlatives, recorded “Don’t Let the Devil Get the Upper
Hand on You.” “It’s pretty dang dark,” Stuart says. “I read a quote
one time, it summed up my take on the Carter Family. It said, ‘In
the presence of perfect beauty, tears are the only answer.’ The
Carter Family is about as pure and close to the source as you can