Johnny Cash 'American VI: Ain't No Grave'

Johnny Cash 'American VI: Ain't No Grave'

Released for the occasion of Johnny Cash's 78th birthday, American VI: Ain't No Grave is the final installment in the collaboration between Cash and Rick Rubin that began with 1994’s American Recordings.

These ten songs were cut during the same sessions for American V: A Hundred Highways. June Carter Cash (Johnny's wife) died during routine surgery during these sessions. Cash, though grief stricken and with full knowledge that he too was dying due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, worked as often as his health would allow. He died three months after these songs were recorded.

Ain't No Grave is an elegiac and deeply spiritual album, a formal goodbye without regret from a man and an artist of almost mythic stature. The album’s final cut is Queen Liliuokalani's traditional Hawaiian ballad “Aloha Oe,” one of the sweetest, most affectionate leaving songs ever written. And Cash’s version? It’s devastatingly beautiful; to the point of tears.

The featured track is a country-gospel-blues by Brother Claude Ely -- it’s a fierce showdown with the Reaper, with the singer winning it hands down.

If there were any justice, Ain't No Grave would be the last album released under Cash’s name.

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