Johnny Cash Personal File

Johnny Cash Personal File
This is just a remarkable discovery! Essentially the long-lost prequel to Rick Rubin’s American series, Johnny Cash sings freshly written songs and standards, accompanied by sparse acoustic guitar. Around 1973, Cash took to home recording, compiling songs he loved and seemingly singing them for his own enjoyment. When son John R. Cash began sorting through his late parents’ belongings, he discovered a box marked "Personal File” filled with reels of his father’s efforts. Spanning to 1982, these are the songs that make up this astounding collection, which comes as close to an intimate Johnny Cash concert as one might expect. Performances such as "The Engineer’s Dying Child” and "There’s a Mother Always Waiting at Home” are stark and strong, with Cash in complete command of his craft. The real jewels here though are the songs featuring Cash’s introductions. The gifted storyteller is frank and funny on songs like "Far Away Places” and "When I Stop Dreaming.” The tale of writing "Girl in Saskatoon” with Johnny Horton on a drive down to Regina is revelatory, and the intro to "A Fast Song” is priceless. These recordings possess the informal, relaxed mood that Rubin employed for American Recordings, which rejuvenated Cash in 1994. For Cash fans haunted by his gaunt presence towards the end of his life, Personal File is a vibrant gift whose unheard performances stand as a reminder of the great legend’s effortless power as a singer and showman. (Columbia)