"Spirits" Having Flown

This appeared on Billboard.com - September 23, 2002

Along with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Dwight Yoakam, and Travis Tritt, country legend Johnny Cash appears on his own upcoming tribute album, Kindred Spirits, due this week from Lucky Dog/Sony Music Nashville. The 14-track compilation includes a rendition of his song "Meet Me in Heaven" on which Cash guests, along with his wife June Carter Cash.

Kindred Spirits boasts some of Cash's greatest songs, according to Marty Stuart, who produced the album and was previously a member of Cash's backing band. "My vision from the start has been to portray Johnny Cash the songwriter," he says. "He's such a poignant and insightful writer and this has never been done. In the likeness of Johnny, each artist brought their own interpretation to the songs. Johnny's renegade spirit transcends throughout the project."

Among those interpretations is Springsteen's stark rendition of "Give My Love to Rose," along with Little Richard's rollicking romp through "Get Rhythm," the B-side to Cash's third Sun Records single, "I Walk the Line." Elsewhere, Dylan adds "Train of Love," contemporary bluesman Keb' Mo' covers the classic "Folsom Prison Blues," while veteran blues artist Charlie Robison contributes "Don't Take Your Guns to Town." In addition to cuts by Hank Williams Jr., Steve Earle, and others is a collaboration by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sheryl Crow, and Emmylou Harris on the song "Flesh and Blood."

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