Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave, featuring the final recordings the Man in Black ever made before his death in September 2003, will be released via American Recordings and Lost Highway on February 26th, the day that would have marked Cash’s 78th birthday. Like the previous LPs in the American series, Rick Rubin produced the sixth installment.
Covers on the set include Sheryl Crow’s “Redemption Day,” Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times,” Ed McCurdy’s “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” and Bob Nolan’s “Cool Water.” American VI will also feature the never-before-heard Cash original “I Corinthians: 15:55,” which he wrote during the last three years of his life. Cash began recording American VI in 2002 and worked up until his September 12th, 2003 death. Cash stuck with the project even after the death his wife June Carter in May 2003. “Johnny said that recording was his main reason for being alive. I think it was the only thing that kept him going,” Rubin said in a statement.
Guitarists Mike Campbell, Matt Sweeney, Jonny Polonsky and Smokey Hormel and keyboardist Benmont Tench join Cash on American VI, and the Avett Brothers’ Seth and Scott contribute to the title song “Ain’t No Grave.” As this album represents the last of Cash’s recordings, American VI will be the final installment of an American series that dates back to 1994. Both American III: Solitary Man and the American Recordings box set Unearthed were among Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 Albums of the Decade.
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