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Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave 

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Johnny Cash

American VI:
Ain't No Grave

American Recordings/
Lost Highway

Editor's Note: For all of you that caught the Cash'd Out show at the Domino Room last weekend (check www.tsweekly.com/blender for video from the show), here's some more about the Man in Black to keep you in the country spirit.

The final installment of Johnny Cash's posthumously released American recordings series, American VI is full of hurt, devotion, malaise and dejection - everything, really, that you'd expect from a well-rounded Cash album. The first few tracks - particularly his cover of Sheryl Crow's "Redemption Day," a song I had to pause twice to keep from breaking into tears at the office - are bone-chillingly haunting, and eerie in the beautifully sad way that only Cash could pull off honestly.

The despair lets up a bit midway through, yielding to Cash's typical ecclesiastical songs. While none of them are upbeat (a la "Ring of Fire"), Cash's religious devotion - while notoriously obsessive - actually breaks up the gloom of things. Like the other albums in this series, most of the songs here are covers. But you wouldn't know it:Cash brings a hollow ache - a sorrow that few can match - to songs that were never meant to be so sad.

Recommended download: "Ain't No Grave"

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