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"Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart," album co-producer and Cash's son John Carter Cash said in a statement. "I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that dad would have wanted."
The 16-track album was compiled using what Carter Cash described as a "monstrous amassment" of material left behind by Johnny and June Carter Cash after their deaths. The handwritten letters, documents and poems were penned by Cash over the course of his life and shaped into songs over the past two years by John Carter Cash and co-producer Steve Berkowitz.
Mostly recorded at The Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the collection is the musical companion to the 2016 best-selling book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, a collection of unpublished writings edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and curated by John Carter and Berkowitz. The more than a dozen major artists come from the worlds of Country, Bluegrass, Pop and Rock.
In a statement, Dailey & Vincent said “What a truly amazing experience it was to work on this project and in the company of such craftsman like Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Costello. We want to say thank you to John Carter for the invitation to collaborate and the honor they bestowed on us when helping to create something new and beautiful with their father’s words.”
The album will be released on CD, as a two-LP vinyl double album and on digital formats.
Track listing for Johnny Cash: Forever Words:
"Forever/I Still Miss Someone" - Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
"To June This Morning" - Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves
"Gold All Over the Ground" - Brad Paisley
"You Never Knew My Mind" - Chris Cornell
"The Captain's Daughter" - Alison Krauss and Union Station
"Jellico Coal Man" - T. Bone Burnett
"The Walking Wounded" - Rosanne Cash
"Them Double Blues" - John Mellencamp
"Body on Body" - Jewel
"I'll Still Love You" - Elvis Costello
"June's Sundown" - Carlene Carter
"He Bore It All" - Dailey & Vincent
"Chinky Pin Hill" - I'm With Her
"Goin', Goin', Gone" - Robert Glasper featuring Ro James, and Anu Sun
"What Would I Dreamer Do?" - The Jayhawks
"Spirit Rider" – Jamey Johnson