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They Walk The Line: Johnny Cash Celebrated By Crow, Nelson, Kristofferson, Plus Four New Compilations Due

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Much like the train Johnny Cash so often sang about, the celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday year rolls on.  Following the issue of Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth earlier this year, Legacy Recordings has just announced the CD/DVD and Blu-ray releases of We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash.  Due on August 7, these preserve the concert held on Friday, April 20, 2012 at Austin, Texas’ Moody Theater in which a wide-ranging roster of musicians paid homage to the music of The Man in Black.

Don Was served as the event’s musical director, and brought along a number of his famous friends to celebrate their friend Johnny.  Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne all were among the headliners, while Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson fit the bill as the evening’s requisite legends.  Younger talents like The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Pat Monahan of Train, and Amy Lee of Evanescence all paid their respects via new interpretations of Cash standards.  Was’ band included many distinguished musicians in their own right: Buddy Miller, Kenny Aronoff, Greg Leisz and The Faces’ Ian McLagan.  Of the evening’s star-studded “I Walk the Line” finale, Rolling Stone wrote, “It was a scene so loaded with talent that an A-list artist like Crow was left singing backup vocals off-mike and clapping while her peers led the crowd in a sing-along.”

In addition to solo songs, many performers seized the opportunity for duets.  Shelby Lynne and Pat Monahan stepped in for June and Johnny on Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.”  Jamey Johnson joined Kris Kristofferson for Kristofferson’s own “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and Lynne traded off with Willie Nelson on Tim Hardin’s folk standard “If I Were a Carpenter.”  Nelson and Kristofferson reunited on Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman,” enlisting Johnson and Shooter Jennings as new Highwaymen for the song.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops enlivened another favorite duet between June and Johnny, “Jackson.”

Hit the jump for details on the CD/DVD and Blu-Ray editions, plus news of four new Cash compilations and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 28, 2012 at 13:57