Johnny's Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Johnny Cash is as country as country gets, but look just below the surface and you can find plenty of blues influence in his music. So a tribute to the Man in Black that calls on blues artists and blues arrangements of Cash songs is hardly far-fetched. And, considering the caliber of the participating artists, the album’s success isn’t surprising, either. Among the diverse highlights are roughed-up versions of “Train of Love” by Paul Reddick, “Big River” by Colin Linden, and “Folsom Prison Blues” by Blackie & the Rodeo Kings; a jazzy “Get Rhythm” featuring Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Beny Davis; and a mariachi instrumental rendition of “Send a Picture of Mother”...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Johnny Cash is as country as country gets, but look just below the surface and you can find plenty of blues influence in his music. So a tribute to the Man in Black that calls on blues artists and blues arrangements of Cash songs is hardly far-fetched. And, considering the caliber of the participating artists, the album’s success isn’t surprising, either. Among the diverse highlights are roughed-up versions of “Train of Love” by Paul Reddick, “Big River” by Colin Linden, and “Folsom Prison Blues” by Blackie & the Rodeo Kings; a jazzy “Get Rhythm” featuring Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Beny Davis; and a mariachi instrumental rendition of “Send a Picture of Mother” by Kevin Bret. Also affecting are the more acoustic-leaning numbers, including Chris Thomas King’s “Rock Island Line,” Maria Muldaur’s “Walking the Blues,” and Alvin Youngblood Hart’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (a Kris Kristofferson song that Cash made into a hit). And a genuine love for Cash and his music unites the efforts of such unlikely contributors (at least on the same project) as Mavis Staples, Garland Jeffries, and Sleepy LaBeef. In all, an imaginative triumph.
All Music Guide - Andrew Hamlin
Effectively honoring an amazing song from an amazing performer requires that you kick against the grass marking the steps of the master. Cash's country music re-oriented toward its blues element gives kickers a general direction for a collection hitting more shin than soupçon. Paul Reddick's "Train of Love" whirs into life on its master tape capstan and jumps track 13 seconds in a show of off-roading; "I have wondered," he ponders in the liner notes, "how things might have been if Johnny had hired Mississippi Fred McDowell Luther Perkins is chopped liver? as the guitar player for the Tennessee Three." Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown joins forces with Benjy Davis to swing out "Get Rhythm," taking turns sounding agreeably road-wearied. Chris Thomas King tunes his 12-string guitar "down to B flat standard, which is the way Leadbelly played it," and recasts "Rock Island Line" as a talking blues, which it almost was anyway, then skates away on the train engineer's cheer at cheating the toll though no one ever asks whether the burned toll man's waiting for him on the return trip. Faced with doing over a perfect song with a perfect arrangement, Garland Jeffreys brilliantly deduces that a little more makes a lot more, and filigrees "I Walk the Line" in accordion and a more pronounced "boom-chicka-boom." Harry Manx's "Long Black Veil" shimmers under his predictable but effective slide guitar and surprising touches of Indian instrumentation, plus desperate gospel-fueled backing vocals, stripping finality from tone, turning the song over into an unsolved mystery. OK, Alvin Youngblood Hart doesn't sound like he knows what he's doing on "Sunday Morning Coming Down"; he asks "Well, who hasn't been there?" in the notes, and the problem is he sounds like almost everybody else who's been there. But then along comes Sleepy LaBeef, sounding like his voice went down one half-step for each of his 68 years, singing "Frankie's Man Johnny" like no one ever told him it wasn't his. Don't settle for walking if you can swoosh.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/29/2003
  • Label: Northern Blues
  • UPC: 809509001729
  • Catalog Number: 17
  • Sales rank: 223,179

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Train of Love - Paul Reddick (4:21)
  2. 2 Get Rhythm - Benjy Davis (3:06)
  3. 3 Walking the Blues - Maria Muldaur (4:44)
  4. 4 Rock Island Line - Chris Thomas King (2:40)
  5. 5 I Walk the Line - Garland Jeffreys (3:11)
  6. 6 Folsom Prison Blues - Blackie & the Rodeo Kings (4:36)
  7. 7 Long Black Veil - Harry Manx (4:41)
  8. 8 Sunday Morning Coming Down - Alvin Youngblood Hart (4:34)
  9. 9 Frankie's Man Johnny - Sleepy LaBeef (2:27)
  10. 10 Redemption - Corey Harris (3:53)
  11. 11 Send a Picture of Mother - Kevin Breit (4:18)
  12. 12 Big River - Colin Linden (3:23)
  13. 13 Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Mavis Staples (2:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Garland Jeffreys Vocals
Sleepy LaBeef Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Maria Muldaur Vocals
Del Rey Guitar
Richard Bell Piano
Mark Bosch Acoustic Guitar
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Guitar, Vocals
Chris Cameron Wurlitzer
Tony Cedras Accordion
Gary Craig Drums
Bob Doidge Trumpet
John Dymond Bass
Stephen Fearing Electric Guitar, Vocals
Joe Krown Organ
Colin Linden Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Harmony
David Peters Drums
Brian Stanley Bass
Mavis Staples Vocals
Butch Taylor Bass, Bass Guitar
Jim Tullio Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Bass Guitar
Jim Weider Slide Guitar
Kevin Breit Mandolin, Bass Clarinet, Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandola, Mandocello, national steel guitar
Jim Vivian Bass, Fiddle
Corey Harris Guitar, Vocals, Djun-Djun
Alvin Youngblood Hart Guitar, Vocals
David Hyde Bass, Bass Guitar
Chris Thomas King Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Paul Mertens Bass Harmonica
Alan Freedman Acoustic Guitar
Kevin Tooley Drums
Tony Backhouse Background Vocals
Bryan Owings Drums
David P. Jackson Background Vocals
Benjy Davis Vocals
Paul Reddick Harmonica, Vocals
Mic Capdevielle Bass (Vocal)
Emily Braden Background Vocals
Jerry Cavanaugh Drums
Darrell Rose Percussion, Djembe
Davide Direnzo Percussion, Drums
David Roe Upright Bass
Tom Wilson Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Lead Belly Composer
Johnny Cash Arranger, Composer, Author
Kris Kristofferson Composer
Jim Bateman Producer
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Producer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Bob Doidge Engineer
Colin Linden Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer
Neville Pearsall Engineer
Mavis Staples Producer
Jim Tullio Producer, Engineer
John Whynot Engineer
Marijohn Wilkin Composer
Kevin Breit Producer
Corey Harris Arranger
Danny Dill Composer
Robert Lunn Composer
Chris Thomas King Producer, Engineer
Gene Foster Engineer
Andy Bowmer Engineer
A Man Called Wrycraft Art Direction
Traditional Composer
Jordy Sharpe Producer
Kevin Massey Engineer
Fred Litwin Liner Notes
Tom Wilson Liner Notes
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