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Unearthed Sequel Box Set - What To Expect

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Johnny Cash worked with Rick Rubin and American Records for the last decade of his life--work began in 1993 and ended with Cash’s passing in September of 2003.  During the final decade of Cash’s career he released work that wasn’t only good--it was some of the most powerful stuff ever recorded by the Man in Black.

 

Too often Cash’s work before Rick Rubin is minimized in comparison.  Hopefully the 2014 release of Out Among the Stars dispels that notion.  It wasn’t just the quality of the work that made his final records so special.  It was the quality of the Man in Black himself.

 

He was a grandfather for all of the young fans who flocked to buy his records.  He was the rebel, the outlaw, and yet he was respected because of his sagacity, his spirituality, his maturity.  Somehow, Cash balanced both images--he was still the rockabilly from the 1950s, still the protesting folk-singer from the 1960s, still the country icon of the 1970s, and still the drifter from the 1980s.  

 

“Delia’s Gone” proved that he wasn’t afraid of venturing into the dark regions of the mind.  “Why Me Lord?” let everyone know that his spirituality and humility never left him.  “Rusty Cage” proved that he could still rock.  “I Won’t Back Down” proved, well, that in spite of disease and age, Cash was still not a quitter.  “The Man Comes Around” proved that the songwriter was still alive and well.  “Hurt” proved to be the best music video of all time (and if you don’t believe me, just refer to Rolling Stone magazine).  With “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” the world got another Cash classic posthumously.  And with the release of “Redemption Day” and “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” we got a final glimpse into the Johnny Cash who wasn’t afraid to speak out against war and greed.

 

Whatever comes next, it is hard to imagine that it will disappoint.  Robert Hilburn, in his biography on Cash titled “The Life,” revealed at least one song that Cash recorded during the same session as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”  What song?  Kris Kristofferson’s “Jesus Was a Capricorn.”  The songs are perfect foils for each other--and both embody aspects of Cash’s complex faith.  Aside from that, rumors have been spreading for years about potential songs.  Here is a meticulously compiled list of what could possibly appear on an Unearthed Volume 2 or other releases of American material.

 

It is worth noting that Cash was planning on recording an album of black gospel before passing--but he never managed to finish that concept album.  Several of the songs listed below were likely recorded for that project, including “His Eye is on the Sparrow”, “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again”, and “Don’t Take Everybody for Your Friend” by one of Cash’s all-time favorite singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  Other songs were written by Cash, and others were written by some of his closest friends, including Willie Nelson, Merle Travis and Johnny Horton.  

 

* Denotes that a version has been unofficially released in some format.  

 

Unreleased material from the Hundred Highways and Ain’t No Grave sessions:

 

“San Antonio”

“Here Comes a Boy”

“That’s Enough” (Dorothy Coates)

“Nine-Pound Hammer” (Merle Travis)

“North to Alaska” (Johnny Horton)

“His Eye is on the Sparrow” (Civilla D. Martin)

“If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again” (John Whitfield Vaughan)

“The Eye of an Eagle” (Joe Carter)

“Don’t Take Everybody for Your Friend” (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)

“Belshazzar” (Johnny Cash)

“Loading Coal” (Merle Travis)

“A Half a Mile a Day” (Johnny Cash)

“Flesh and Blood" (Johnny Cash)

“I Am a Pilgrim” (Traditional)

“Beautiful Dreamer” (Stephen Foster)

“Family Bible” (Willie Nelson)

“Jesus Was a Capricorn” (Kris Kristofferson)

“The Whiffenpoof Song”

“The Oak and the Willow”

“John the Revelator” (Blind Willie Johnson)

 

Unreleased material from the Solitary Man and/or The Man Comes Around sessions:

 

“One More Ride” (Bob Nolan) *

“Hard Times” (Stephen Foster) [Possibly a duet with Merle Haggard]

 

Unreleased material from the Unchained sessions:

 

“Addicted to Love” (Robert Palmer)

“You’re Gonna Change Or I’m Gonna Leave” (Hank Williams)

“Goodnight, Baby” (Tom Petty)

“We’re Alright Now” (Tom Petty)

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (Bob Dylan)

“That's Right” (Johnny Cash) [Possibly a duet with Carl Perkins]

“Sing a Traveling Song” (Kenny Jones) [Used in an episode of the TV series Renegade]

“Don’t Sell Daddy Anymore Whiskey” (Molly O’Day) *

“The Devil” (Hoyt Axton) *

“Change the Locks” (Lucinda Williams) *

“That Lucky Old Sun” (Beasley Smith) *

“Two-Timing Woman” (Hank Snow) *

 

Unreleased material from the American Recordings session:

 

“Allegheny” (Chris Gantry)

“New Cut Road” (Guy Clark)

“Gettysburg Address / Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” (Abraham Lincoln, Ed McCurdy)

“Hobo Bill’s Last Ride”

“The Mystery of Number Five”

“I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train” (Billy Joe Shaver)

“I’m Ragged but I’m Right” (George Jones)

“Jesus Was a Carpenter” (Christopher Wren)

“Boll Weevil” (Traditional)

“Wings in the Morning” (Johnny Cash)

“In My Time of Dying”

“Old Lonesome”

“Heart of Gold” (Neil Young)

“Farther Along” (J.R. Baxter Jr.)

“The Door” (Rodney Crowell)

“The Road to Kaintuck” (June Carter, Helen Carter)

“Long Road”

“Talk to Me”

“Ballad of Barbara” (Johnny Cash)

“Dead or Alive”

“Live Forever” (Billy Joe Shaver, Eddy Shaver)

“The Big Battle” (Johnny Cash)

“Open Pit Mine”

“Children Go Where I Send Thee” (Traditional) *

“Loving Her Was Easier” (Kris Kristofferson) *

“‘T’ for Texas” (Jimmie Rodgers) *

“East Virginia Blues” (June Carter Cash, Maybelle Carter)

“To Beat the Devil” (Kris Kristofferson) *

“I Witnessed a Crime” (Billy Gibbons) *

“What On Earth (Will You Give for Heaven’s Sake)” (Johnny Cash) *

“I’m A Drifter” (Dolly Parton) *

“The Next Time I’m In Town” (Mark Knopfler) *

“One More Ride” (Bob Nolan) *

“All of God’s Children Ain’t Free” (Johnny Cash) *

“Friends in California” (Waylon Jennings) *

“The Wonder of You” (Kris Kristofferson) *

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I've been a Cash fan since 2006. My appreciation of the man and his music has only grown since then. I am especially drawn to the humanitarian work and activism that Cash championed during his lifetime, through his songs and through his actions. I am studying to become an educator and it has been my pleasure to help out on the Johnny Cash Infocenter website however I can.

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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017