My Mother's Hymn Book

My Mother's Hymn Book

4.8 6
by Johnny Cash
     
 

Initially released on the 2003 box set Unearthed, the 15 songs on My Mother's Hymn Book were literally drawn from the dog-eared hymn book that Johnny Cash's mother kept by her side most of her life. Cash's own liner notes, moving in their simple expression of basic truths, reveal the depth of feeling he has for these songs, asSee more details below

Overview

Initially released on the 2003 box set Unearthed, the 15 songs on My Mother's Hymn Book were literally drawn from the dog-eared hymn book that Johnny Cash's mother kept by her side most of her life. Cash's own liner notes, moving in their simple expression of basic truths, reveal the depth of feeling he has for these songs, as he relates them to his own life experiences and philosophies. Intentionally or not, the sequence plays out like a Southern Baptist hymn service, opening with the beautiful "Where We'll Never Grow Old." The testimony continues with jaunty renditions of "I Shall Not Be Moved," "Do Lord," and "I'll Fly Away," expressing jubilation over the prospect of heavenly rewards. A brisk rendition of "Where the Soul of Man Never Dies" anticipates a utopian eternal life in God's palace before three resonant, somber hymns of invitation -- "In the Garden," "Softly and Tenderly," and "Just as I Am" -- close the disc with powerful exhortations to embrace the spiritual life, just as we are, without a single plea. It's a message Cash conveys through his craggy voice and acoustic strums, and it's the same one he advanced his entire career, even in his darkest hours of inner turmoil, "when the demons crawled up my back," as he writes here. Inspirational and stirring, My Mother's Hymn Book finds the artist in his twilight, energized by his faith and making every note count.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Originally included as part of the exhaustive Unearthed box set of Johnny Cash's American Records recordings, My Mother's Hymn Book is exactly what it claims to be -- songs directly out of Cash's mother's old hymnal. Featuring Cash alone playing an acoustic guitar, this is a stark, beautiful, and simple album. In the liner notes, Cash calls this his favorite record he's ever made and it's clear that learning these songs as a child is what inspired his love of music. In that sense, despite no original material, these are some of the most personal songs Cash ever recorded; he even includes song-by-song commentaries that help illuminate what each track meant to him. For Merle Travis' "I Am a Pilgrim" Cash writes, "It's one of those old country gospel classics that my mother sang, that I knew I would record it someday." Of course, Cash recorded gospel songs before this album, as in 1959 with Hymns by Johnny Cash and again in 1962 with Hymns From the Heart and he usually included one gospel track per album. Never before though had he focused so purely on his Christian roots, and given what is known about his problems with drug abuse and the break-up of his first marriage, these songs seem to ring with the conflicts of joy and sorrow, guilt and redemption. Although technically not Cash's last recording, My Mother's Hymn Book represents where his musical career began and ultimately where it ended.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/2004
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0602498613337
catalogNumber:
000236202
Rank:
2281

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist
Karen Adams   Group Member

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Liner Notes
Rosanne Cash   Liner Notes
Merle Travis   Composer
William Lee Golden   Composer
Wayne Raney   Composer
Rick Rubin   Producer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
William B. Bradbury   Composer
Marion Easterling   Composer
Charlotte Elliot   Composer
Joseph Philbrick Webster   Composer
John R. Cash   Arranger
John Carter Cash   Liner Notes
James C. Moore   Composer
Sanford Fillmore Bennett   Composer
Thomas Wright   Composer
C. Austin Miles   Composer
James Black   Composer
Will L. Thompson   Composer

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