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The Making, and Remaking, of Johnny Cash’s ‘Songwriter’ Album: How John Carter Cash, Marty Stuart and Others Brought the Icon’s Buried Treasure Back to Life

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Chris Willman Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic Very few people would have guessed that we’d be getting an album of previously unreleased original material from Johnny Cash in 2024 — a collection that really feels like a “new” album from the legendary singer, 21 years after his death.

Far fewer still bet on anything coming out at this late date would be any good, if the original recordings sat in the vault this long.

So “Songwriter,” which came out Friday, registers as a real surprise on every count. It offers a Cash who not only sounds like he’s right there in front of you, in his fullest, richest voice, but trotting out a batch of completely self-penned songs so strong it’s hard to believe he didn’t release them in his lifetime.

The new album’s co-producers, John Carter Cash and David “Fergie” Ferguson, spoke with Variety about where the project came from and how it got reinvisioned for the 21st century, as did Marty Stuart, the Country Music Hall of Famer and close friend of Cash’s who went into the studio to record new guitar parts for the set.

Read more on variety.com
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