Shelved 1993 Johnny Cash Album 'Songwriter' to Be Released This Summer

The now-completed demo collection was finished by Cash's son and a team of collaborators

BY Kaelen BellPublished Apr 23, 2024

Johnny Cash was dropped from his Columbia Records contract in the late '80s, after which he floated around for a few years before signing with Rick Rubin's American label and officially launching his late-career comeback. Trent Reznor recently spoke about his feelings on Cash's iconic "Hurt" cover, which was borne of that same Cash renaissance period. 

But before all of that, sometime in that late '80s to early '90s limbo period, Cash recorded an album of demos that was shelved when he signed with Rubin. Previously lost to time, that demo collection has now been completed by his son John Carter Cash.

Called Songwriter, the album is arriving this summer. It takes Cash's original voice-and-guitar demos (featuring a few harmonies from Waylon Jennings) and fills them out with contributions from two of Cash's former sidemen, guitarist Marty Stuart and the late stand-up bassist Dave Roe. Former Average White Band drummer Dave Abbott also appears, as does the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach for a guitar solo.

In addition to the album announcement, they've also shared lead single "Well Alright," which you can check out below alongside the album's tracklist.  


1. Hello Out There
2. Spotlight (ft. Dan Auerbach)
3. Drive On
4. I Love You Tonite
5. Have You Ever Been to Little Rock?
6. Well Alright
7. She Sang "Sweet Baby James"
8. Poor Valley Girl
9. Soldier Boy
10. Sing It Pretty Sue
11. Like a Soldier

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