These days all I have been listening to is Johnny Cash.
What’s so surprising about that, you ask?
Well, there are two genres of music that I don’t like at all and they are Rap/Hip-Hop and Country. I just don’t like the sound of these two styles. And Johnny Cash may not be firmly entrenched in country music, his roots certainly from that genre. The first time I heard his music soon after the movie “Walk The Line” came out, I just shut down my iPod. But after reading somewhere that he had covered Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” and Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, I tuned the iPod back to Johnny Cash. After giving him an uncritical listen, I was astounded by the depth of his lyrics and music.
From “Folsom Blues” : When I was just a baby/My mama told me “son, always be a good boy and never play with a gun”/But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
From “Man In Black” : We are doing might fine I suppose/In our streak lightening cars and fancy clothes/but just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back/up front there ought to be a man in black.
From “A Boy Named Sue” : When my daddy left home when I was three / He didn’t leave much to my ma and me / just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze / Now I don’t blame him ’cause he run and hid / but the meanest thing he did / before he left he went and named me Sue
From “Sunday Morning” : On a Sunday morning sidewalk / I am wishing Lord that I was stoned / cause there is something in a Sunday / that makes a body feel alone
From “Delia’s Gone” : If I hadn’t shot poor Delia / I’d had her for my wife / One more round / Delia’s gone.
These are just a few of his lyrics. His music, although very much like country music, is not exactly country. The sound lies somewhere in between Rock and Country or is it between Rock and Rap or is it between Country and Gospel or is it……that’s what makes it so special. You just cannot pin his music down. Some of his live recordings are pure joy to listen. But the most powerful thing about his music are his lyrics.
Do give him a listen.