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Dressed In Black: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (2002) - Various Artists

    Featuring »

Eddie Angel, Mandy Barnett, Damon Bramblett, Bruce Robison And Kelly Willis, Billy Burnette, Rodney Crowell, Rosie Flores, Robbie Fulks, Rev. Horton Heat, James Intveld, Chris Knight, Raul Malo, Mandy Barnett & Chuck Mead, Chuck Mead, Chuck Mead, Earl Poole Ball, Bruce Robison, Kenny Vaugh(a)n, Redd Volkaert, Dale Watson, Hank Williams III, Kelly Willis

    Tracklisting »
Wreck Of The Old '97
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:58
  Comments: by Hank Williams III: "Johnny Cash out rocks, out countrys, out folks, out does everyone else. He is the real shit." (appears courtesy of Curb Records)
Cry, Cry, Cry
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:39
  Comments: by Robbie Fulks: "I discovered Johnny Cash "At San Quentin" and Playboy magazine in 1970 while visiting my 7 year old girlfriend at her trailer. I took a childish liking to both, not realizing at the time which was nakeder."
Ballad Of A Teenage QueenLyrics available
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:11
  Comments: by Rodney Crowell: "When I was six years old, I went with my father on a Sunday afternoon to see Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis perform on the old Magnolia Garden bandstand In Channelview, Texas, Magnolia Gardens was nothing more than a boat dock beer joint on the San Jacinto River with a roofed stage, cement dance floor and canvas covered picnic tables along either side. It rained as only it can rain in southeast Texas during both Carl and Jerry Lee's sets. The audience was unfazed by the gully washer; I remember Jerry Lee doing the dirty bop to "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" in six inches of dance floor water. When Johnny Cash came out to headline the show, so did the sun...gloriously. I remember thinking God must really like Johnny Cash, I do not exaggerate when I tell you I heard heavenly angels singing as the sun and Johnny Cash took center stage that late afternoon,. The first words out of his mouth were "how high is the water momma", the opening line from "Five Feet High and Rising". I was stunned by the power of his artistic timing. The second song was "Ballad of A Teenage Queen". Every song he sang that day floored me. I chose "Teenage Queen" for the tribute because it's the tune I sang to myself all the way home in the passenger seat of my father's old red Studebaker.
Guess Things Happen That WayLyrics available
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:07
  Comments: by Raul Malo: "Johnny Cash to me is the Mt. Rushmore of music. I've always wanted to record this song." (appears courtesy of Higher Octave Music, Inc.) Billed as "I Guess Things Happen That Way".
There You Go
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:18
  Comments: by Chuck Mead: "Johnny Cash is the only artist I know of who elicits respect from artists of all genres.
Get Rhythm
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:29
  Comments: by Rev. Horton Heat: "One day I was hangin' out with my cousin who had just gotten back from Vietnam. He stuck in the 8 track tape of "Live at Folsom Prison". I still get chills when I think about the impact that had on me. It became the template for everything I try to do now, both musically and lyrically." (appears courtesy of Artemis Records)
Pack Up Your Sorrows
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:27
  Comments: by Bruce Robison And Kelly Willis: "Johnny Cash is not only one of the best writers out there; he is also one of the best interpreters of other people's material. When he covered this song, which is really a folk song, he proved to me that a folk singer could kick your ass. For that reason, this has always been one of my favorite recordings. Kelly Willis appears courtesy of Rykodisc.
Ring Of Fire
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:49
  Comments: by Billy Burnette: "I was playing the Palamino with my dad, Dorsey Burnette, when Johnny sat in with us. Not before, or after, including my tenure with Fleetwood Mac, have I ever felt such an impact from an artist. When he hit that stage, it shook the room and changed my life forever."
Luther Played The Boogie
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:16
  Comments: by Redd Volkaert: "Whenever I play this song, I'm always struck by the overall simplicity; the lyrics, the guitar work, the vocal, all of it - right where it needs to be."
Big River
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:36
  Comments: by Rosie Flores: "When I was in my old punk band the Screamin' Sirens, we would listen to Johnny Cash on an old 8 track we had. When "Big River" came on, we would crank it. I finally met him '96 at the Austin airport. What a great man indeed.
Folsom Prison Blues
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:09
  Comments: by James Intveld: "The message I get when I hear Johnny Cash? Stand up, be a man, show your faults and your attributes."
I Still Miss Someone (Blue Eyes)Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:51
  Comments: Billed as "I Still Miss Someone" by Earl Poole Ball: "Not only is this my favorite Johnny Cash song, it's my favorite song period."
I'm Gonna Sit On The Porch And Pick On My Old Guitar
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:43
  Comments: by Damon Bramblett: "No one has influenced me more then Johnny Cash." (appears courtesy of Texas Music Group)
I Walk The Line
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:54
  Comments: by Dale Watson: "Tribute CDs are often too little too late but never enough can be done to show thanks to a man that gave us so much joy. I even named my youngest daughter after him. I am proud to be in such good company." (appears courtesy of Audium Records, a Koch Entertainment Company)
Train Of Love
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:38
  Comments: by Kenny Vaughn: "I first heard "Train of Love" in the 70s during my honky tonk apprenticeship on West 44th in Denver. When I learned "Train of Love" I realized that in Johnny Cash there is the heart and soul of a true poet, an American original who deserves the same recognition as Walt Whitman or Bob Dylan."
Straight A's In Love
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:08
  Comments: by Eddie Angel: "This song always connects me to all of my guitar heroes. Luther, Carl and Billy Lee Riley. Johnny's voice always puts me in Memphis in the fifties."
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 2:51
  Comments: by Mandy Barnett & Chuck Mead: "Johnny Cash is bigger than life and his music has never known any boundaries, I am honored to do June Carter Cash's part on this song." Mandy Barnett appears courtesy of Capitol/Manhattan Records.
Flesh & Blood
  Date Performance: 2002, Running Time: 3:07
  Comments: by Chris Knight: "We had an old black and white TV that worked about half the time. I remember walking by it when I was 5 or 6 and seeing a big black haired man with a black suit playing a black guitar singing "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. You just can't keep walkin' on by" something like that. It stuck with me."
    Guest Appearances »

Billy Block, Ken Coomer, Al Esis, W.S. (Fluke) Holland, Jimmy Lester, Tom Lewis, Chuck Mead, David/Dave Roe, Jerry Roe, Tammy Rogers, Maxwell Schauf, Kenny Vaugh(a)n, Col. J(oshua) D. Wilkes, Shaw Wilson

    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Norman Blake (Songwriter), June Carter/Carter Cash (Songwriter), John(ny) (Ray) Cash (Songwriter), Roy Cash(, Jr.) (Songwriter), (Cowboy) Jack Clement (Songwriter), Richard Farina (Songwriter), Bob/Robert Johnson (Songwriter), Merle Kilgore (Songwriter), Pauline Marden (Songwriter), Gaby Rogers (Songwriter), Billy Ed(d) Wheeler (Songwriter), Gina (R.) Binkley (Design), Chuck Mead (Produced By), David/Dave Roe (Produced By), Paul Gannon (Recorded By), Ray(mond) (Louis) Kennedy (Mixed By), Hank Williams (Mastered By)

    Record Label »

    Catalogue Number »


    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »






(Written by John R. Cash) 1971, 1998 Songs of Cash, Inc. (ASCAP) Administered bj Bug.
All Rights Reserved. Used by percussion.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything is OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Til things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black


(C) (P) 2002 Dualtone Music Group, Inc.
2105 Elliston Place, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37203

All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Printed/Manufactured in USA.


    Reviews »
Add your review here.

Review written by Anonymous, January 2nd, 2005


Has faults but not as bad as some say
Review written by John Fitzgerald, January 2nd, 2005

There has been much criticism of this platter in comparison to "Kindred Spirits A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash" (released about the same time as each other) as many felt as though the "Kindred spirits..." release was superior due mainly to the fact that most of the artists on that CD rearranged many of Cash's songs for their own tributes. However, and I must confess that I have not heard the "Kindred spirits..." release as of this date but I am personally torn on this issue as in some cases it can bring something new and refreshing to a song (such as Gary Moore's version of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac tune "Looking for somebody" on his "Blues for Greeny" album for instance, as although the Mac version has it's positive purist points, it did help hearing Moore cut loose on six string on such an effort whereas FM used NO guitar on the original), but to me it can defeat the purpose of a tribute effort as by changing an arrangement, it is almost like saying the "great song" by the great one isn't good enough the way it was and should be
changed" for the tribute cover. So, by sticking close to what the artist in question has done, is (or should be) the covering artist's way of saying "listen to how great the original artists music was". "Dressed in black..." does stick to Cash's arrangements more or less. Of most importance to us here, Billy's "Ring of fire" is heavier on that signature acoustic rhythm guitar sound on most Cash tunes than it is on many others here but it does tend to sound quite repetitive after a few tunes on this CD in general. After hearing Rodney Crowell's "Ballad of a teenage queen", one can't help but think of it thematically sounding like Billy's own "Whatcha gonna do when the sun goes down" from his "Gimmie you" album, perhaps Burnette should have done this number instead though "Ring of fire" will grow on you for sure (if you aren't familiar with it already). Some of the old gold such as
"Wreck of the old '97" (here done by Hank III) you feel may have been better conquered if done by an older artist but once that middle breakneck part kicks in, man it sure cooks! Robbie Fulks' "Cry, cry, cry" is a howling take while Raul Malo's "I guess things happen that way" is a mid tempo chimer. Chuck Mead's "There you go" shuffles along nicely and there's a nice pairing of Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis on "Pack up your sorrows" but Rev. Horton Heat's "Get rhythm" doesn't work as well as some of these others. Kenny Vaughan's "Train of love" is pretty fresh and Redd Volkaert handles those tongue twisting vocals on the chorus of "Luther played the boogie" very well! However, after hearing Rosie Flores' brilliant album "Speed of sound" her take on "Big river" here sounds rather bland. It sure would've been interesting to see what it would have sounded like had Rick Vito produced this cut! Ups and downs abound on the rest. James Intveld's "Folsom prison blues" is straightforward enough but Eddie Angel's "Straight A's in love" is uninspired sounding. Earl Poole Ball's "I still miss someone" is fresh as it has a slight ragtime feel to it (and Stevie Nicks fans will recognize this song from her "The other side of the mirror" album though you will mainly only really recognize the lyrics on the choruses) but as Johnny's song of all songs, "I walk the line" is handled here by Dale Watson, it sounds to me like a parody however unintentional it might be. There are a few songs that don't use that Cash "chung-ti-ti-chung" rhythm (that work well because of (the lack of) it) such as Damon Bramblett's "I'm gonna sit on the porch and pick my old guitar" which although may be the same tempo as those that do have that rhythm, it is only accompanied (nicely) by acoustic guitar and a stand up bass sound and the closing "Flesh & blood" by Chris Knight (no, not Peter Brady) which has a slight Springsteen feel because of the acoustic guitar sound that permeates the song though it is joined by fiddle as well but it's not intrusive. "Jackson" is one of the faster songs on this disc sung well by Mandy Barnett and it is a nice pairing, but why is it with Chuck Mead (who appears on this record... again)? It may be due to the assumption that the "Kindred spirits..." CD had a much larger budget which is another angle of this comparison those comparing critics love to shove in the face of those who have put together "Dressed in black..." and yes, "Dressed in black..." does have it's highs and lows (like many releases) but I would like to say that I think it is not as bad as some reviewers in certain popular magazines have stated, but that's just my humble opinion. I'll have to go with my three star rating here due to the sameness of that Cash rhythm draped all over this album as it forces this album to be one in the category that is good for song listens but not many complete album listens, hence the reason for the rating, but it's a high three stars.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Marty Adelson.