Listen Up! Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash ‘Wanted Man’ Demo

It’s always a treat when new music is released featuring the late Johnny Cash. in this case, we get the added pleasure of the song being a Bob Dylan penned piece performed in a fly-on-the-wall manner by the two men.

Bob Dylan wrote “Wanted Man” in 1969 for Johnny Cash who included it as part of the setlist for his live album “At San Quentin.” The album was the second in Cash’s live prison-performed albums including ‘At Folsom Prison’ (1968), ‘PÃ¥ ÖsterÃ¥ker’ (ÖsterÃ¥ker Prison in Sweden, 1973), and ‘A Concert Behind Prison Walls’ (Tennessee State Prison in 1974), and later released a studio version.

In anticipation of Dylan’s upcoming release ‘Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15’ we now have this rollicking demo of Dylan, Cash (who’s still working out the lyrics) featuring Carl Perkins on guitar. Hear it below.

On the recording June Carter Cash can be heard asking Johnny to “..make sure Bob puts a melody to that song.” Possibly in a futile attempt to reign in Dylan’s unorthodox singing style.

“Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15” will be released November 1st. Preorder it here.

Pretending to be Legends

In fighting outside your weight class news – A recent Variety article brought news that pop-country performer Taylor Swift would be portraying folk music legend Joni Mitchell in an upcoming movie  adaptation of Sheila Weller’s book “Girls Like Us.” Soon after that I read that pop-folk/pop-country performer Jewel will portray country music legend June Carter Cash in an upcoming Lifetime television movie. Yesterday I saw that Loretta Lynn had announced from the stage of Nashville’s Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium, that she had asked actress and pop-folk performer Zooey Deschanel to portray hey in ‘Coal Miner’s’ musical.

This is like casting Keanu Reeves to play the Buddha oh wait, that happened.

This news reminded me of when I heard that Jack White was appearing with Jimmy Page and The Edge in the movie “It Might Get Loud.” What the hell is he doing at THAT table?”

Here are performers that, despite sales, are clearly punching above their weight class. It’s a classic “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy,” moment except  that instead of acknowledging these lightweights for what they are they are handed a job they are clearly undeserving of.

All due respect to Ms. Loretta, The choice of Deschanel , just like the choices of Swift, Jewel and White before them, is a choice of marketing potential, not musical qualifications. The decision to cast these cultural pee-wees has nothing to do with equivalent talent, it’s about demographic crossover and  getting viewers. As a lover of music, great lasting music, I don’t use the same criteria for assessment for placement in these roles. I immediately evaluate these performers on their work and my conclusion is “no way.” They don’t deserve the instant gravitas to their career that comes with portraying legends clearly out of their league. I have an idea, how about actually writing music that get’s you that cred instead of just playing one on TV.

But that takes a level of musical genius that none of these people possess.


Song Premiere: Lera Lynn Covers “Ring Of Fire”

Athens GA-based Americana songstress Lera Lynn follows up her debut full length (Have You Met Lera Lynn?) with a seven inch, which includes a cover of June Carter Cash penned and Johnny Cash renowned Ring of Fire.

Lynn says of the cover “I always thought June Carter’s “Ring of Fire” was written as a dark song, maybe it’s just where I was when I heard it one dark day. It’s been a lot of fun to rearrange it, almost making it my own. I hope we’ve done it justice. I hope they [the Cash Family] would be proud.”

I never understand when people do cover songs, especially of iconic songs, and then don’t interpret them personally. Lynn does exactly that with her take smolders (heh) punctuated with discordant peaks in the chorus. Look for Lera Lynn  on tour in Texas and up the East coast this March and April.

Lera Lynn – Ring of Fire



5 Cool Kris Kristofferson Covers

One of the things about being one of the best songwriters in the world, loads of folks want to cover your work. The other night over at the Twang Nation Jamboree at the DJs holding forth ran with a Kris Kristofferson covers theme and it sounded pretty great. I thought I would try and track some down and post them here.

Bobby Bare croons a smooth version of Come Sundown. Nothing says heartbreak like a huge white tie.


Try and look over the full-on Nashville Sound and syrupy strings and try and concentrate on the awesomeness that is Mr. Ray Price covering For The Good Times.


Sammi Smith made it a hit, bit Johnny and June makes Help Me Make It Through The Night spectacular.


Most people think Janis Joplin was the first to cover Me And Bobby McGee. Those people are wrong. Roger Miller was the first artist to have a hit with the song, hitting No. 12 on the US country chart in 1969.


Yeah it’s not technically covers but the himself is being backed by the Foo Fighters on Sunday Morning Coming Down and doing The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 being backed by Elvis Costello And The Sugarcanes.




News Round-Up: Merle Haggard and Scott H. Biram Prepare Fall Releases

There are a coupe of new releases upcoming that I am really anticipating…

Legendary country stalwart Merle Haggard will release ‘Working in Tennessee,’ on October 4,  his second on the Vanguard Records label.

The Hag penned nine of the 11 tracks on the on the album and jsut as on 2010’s I Am What I Am he invites his wife Theresa to provide vocals on the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash classic hit, Jackson. Merle’s son Ben Haggard also joins his father by providing his adroit tele work and Willie Nelson joins on an updated version of Merle’s ‘Workin’ Man Blues.’
Despite his 2008 lung cancer diagnosis, with part of his lung being removed, the 74-year-old hasn’t lost his voice. “I’m swinging back in full throttle right now,” he insists. “Music keeps me alive. It makes me breathe better … It’s funny, but I feel better when I come off a tour than when I start out.”

Merle has been confirmed to perform at the legendary Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park on October 1st. Check Merle’s other tour dates:

‘Working in Tennessee’ Track Listing:

1. ‘Working in Tennessee’ (Merle Haggard)
2. ‘Down on the Houseboat’ (Merle Haggard, Theresa Haggard, Doug Colosio)
3. ‘Cocaine Blues’ (TJ Arnall)
4. ‘What I Hate’ (Merle Haggard)
5. ‘Sometimes I Dream’ (Merle Haggard, Jenessa Haggard)
6. ‘Under the Bridge’ (Merle Haggard, Theresa Haggard)
7. ‘Too Much Boogie Woogie’ (Merle Haggard)
8. ‘Truck Driver’s Blues’ (Merle Haggard, Tim Howard)
9. ‘Laugh It Off’ (Merle Haggard, Theresa Haggard, Doug Colosio)
10. ‘Working Man Blues’ (Merle Haggard)
11. ‘Jackson’ (Billy Edd Wheeler, Gaby Rodgers)


And that Dirty Ol’ One Man Band from Texas, Scott H. Biram, will release his fourth full-length for Bloodshot Records, Bad Ingredients on October 11th on CD, vinyl LP, and digital download. Bad Ingredients was recorded at Biram’s home studio in Austin, Texas and mastered by Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova Mastering (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam), Bad Ingredients delivers SHB’s classic throat-stomping style (“Dontcha Lie To Me Baby” and “Victory Song”), but showcases a more mature songwriter-both lyrically and musically. It’s Biram at his quietest, but don’t worry, Hiram Biram still raises plenty a ruckus on his ’59 hollowbody Gibson and stomp board. But the best way to experience Biram is live, go check his schedule and see him if you can.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash Wedding Bed For Sale

It saddens me to see to see the belongings of greats being sold off when they die. Case in fact the ebony, hand-made Chinese wedding bed previously owned by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. I guess in the end, it’s all just stuff…

The upside is that after Barry Gibb (yes THAT Barry Gibb) purchased the Cashes’ Hendersonville lake home in 2006 he gave the bed to a friend as a wedding gift. The new owner of the bed moved it so that it wouldn’t be damaged by construction around to the 14,000-square-foot house. As a result of a mishap of that construction the house was destroyed by fire in 2007.

So the bed was saved and is up for sale. Call Rhee Martin (615-253-0119) if you’re interested.

The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show – 9/18

From – On September 18, CMV/Columbia/Legacy will release The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show, a 2xDVD compiling 66 live performances from the 58 episodes of Johnny Cash’s 1969-1971 “The Johnny Cash Show”.

Kris Kristofferson hosts the DVD, which features performances from Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Louis Armstrong, Loretta Lynn, Neil Diamond, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Derek and the Dominoes, Roy Orbison, the Carter Family (including June Carter Cash), and Johnny Cash himself, among many others.

The set also features new interviews with John Carter Cash, Tennessee Three bassist Marshall Grant, Hank Williams, Jr., musical arranger Bill Walker, and hairstylist Penny Lane.

There will also be a single-disc CD version of the compilation available on the same day as the DVD.

The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show (DVD):

01 Johnny Cash: “Ring of Fire”
02 Bob Dylan: “I Threw It All Away”
03 Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan: “Girl From the North Country”
04 Kris Kristofferson: “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”
05 Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash: “Blue Yodel #9”
06 Stevie Wonder: “Heaven Help Us All”
07 Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Bad Moon Rising”
08 Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash: “I Will Never Marry”
09 George Jones: Medley: “White Lightning” (with Johnny Cash) / “She Thinks I Still Care” / “The Love Bug” / “The Race Is On”
10 Johnny Cash: “Hey Porter”
11 Waylon Jennings: “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line”
12 Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash: “The Singing Star’s Queen”
13 Waylon Jennings: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”
14 Tammy Wynette: “Stand by Your Man”
15 Marty Robbins: Medley: “Big Iron” / “Running Gun” / “El Paso”
16 Johnny Cash: “Ride This Train”
17 Johnny Cash: “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow”
18 Johnny Cash: “Man in Black”
19 James Taylor: “Sweet Baby James”
20 Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash: “Cripple Creek”
21 Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash: “Worried Man Blues”
22 Johnny Cash: “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
23 Johnny Cash: “Old Time Religion”
24 Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, the Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins, and the Tennessee Three: “Daddy Sang Bass”
25 Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters: “Wildwood Flower”
26 Neil Young: “The Needle and the Damage Done”
27 Johnny Cash: “Tennessee Flat Top Box”
28 Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash: “Long Black Veil”
29 Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three with Carl Perkins: “Big River”
30 Johnny Cash: “I Walk the Line”
31 June Carter Cash: “A Good Man”
32 Derek and the Dominoes: “It’s Too Late”
33 Derek and the Dominoes With Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins: “Matchbox”
34 Charley Pride: “Able Bodied Man”
35 Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys: “Blue Moon of Kentucky”
36 Loretta Lynn: “I Know How”
37 Jerry Lee Lewis: “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”
38 Johnny Cash: “Ride This Train (America the Beautiful, This Land Is Your Land)”
39 The Everly Brothers With Ike Everly and Tommy Cash: “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine”
40 Ray Charles: “Ring of Fire”
41 Johnny Cash: “A Boy Named Sue”
42 Conway Twitty: “Hello Darlin'”
43 Mother Maybelle Carter: “Black Mountain Rag”
44 Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash: “Pork Salad Annie”
45 Glenn Campbell: “Wichita Lineman”
46 Neil Diamond: “Cracklin’ Rosie”
47 Ray Price: “For the Good Times”
48 Roy Orbison: “Crying”
49 Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash: “Oh, Pretty Woman”
50 Johnny Cash: “Wanted Man”
51 Chet Atkins and Johnny Cash: “Recuerdo De La Alhambra”
52 Chet Atkins: Medley: “Country Gentleman” / “Mister Sandman” / “Wildwood Flower” / “Freight Train”
53 June Carter Cash With Homer and Jethro: “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
54 Merle Haggard: “No Hard Time Blues”
55 Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash: “Sing Me Back Home”
56 Carl Perkins: “Blue Suede Shoes”
57 Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, the Statler Brothers, and Carl Perkins: “The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago”
58 Roy Clark: Medley: “In the Summertime” / “12th Street Rag”
59 The Statler Brothers: “Flowers on the Wall”
60 Johnny Cash: “Working Man Blues”
61 Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash: “Jackson”
62 Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash: “Turn Around”
63 Johnny Cash: “I Love You Because”
64 Hank Williams Jr.: Medley: “You Win Again” / “Cold Cold Heart” / “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still in Love With You” / “Half As Much”
65 Johnny Cash: “A Wonderful Time up There”
66 Johnny Cash: “Folsom Prison Blues”

Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash “Girl From The North Country” – 1969


Johnny Cash’s “The Great Lost Performance” to Be Released July 24, 2007

A first-ever release of a performance by the Man in Black at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey on July 27, 1990 will be released as “Johnny Cash – The Great Lost Performance” (Island/UMe), released July 24, 2007, debuts nearly 17 years to the day of the original concert.

The nearly hour-long CD features the classics – “I Walk The Line,” “Hey Porter” and “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Ring Of Fire,” but will also feature duets with wife June Carter Cash on “Jackson” and “The Wreck Of Old ’97.” The CD will also feature Cash’s first performance of his original “What Is Man?,” and his only recorded version of country gospel’s “Wonderful Time Up There” and “A Beautiful Life,” and his only concert version of “Life’s Railway To Heaven,” whose studio version by Cash
was released only posthumously.

Props to the 9513 for the heads up!