Rich with loss and regret, the song would have fit perfectly on one of the melancholy “American” albums that came 20 years later. If that isn’t enough reason to check it out, Mr. Hillcoat’s video ought to do the trick.
The Australian director splices together some Cash-related shots with dark images of the poor and downtrodden on forgotten, trash-strewn streets, along with a couple of pointed visual references to Wall Street.
The video, he said, is an “homage to the very reason Cash always wore black: to the shameful increase of the disenfranchised and outsiders” in the U.S.
Hmm it’ll be interesting to see if country radio can find any room in the 24-7 rotation of beer-truck and party songs to give that a spin.
Including “She Used to Love Me Alot,” the album features 12 tracks that Cash originally recorded with Country Music Hall of Famer Billy Sherrill, a producer and former president of CBS Records Nashville.
The project came along at a low point in Cash’s career, and was shelved and forgotten when he parted ways with Columbia Records.
But among the reasons for the buzz are a couple of new duets with the late Waylon Jennings and the late June Carter Cash, and some session work from guitarist Marty Stuart, who returned to the project to update the sound.
Cash’s son told the Associated Press he was stunned to find the tapes for the sessions among his parents’ archives.
“We were, like, ‘My goodness, this is a beautiful record that nobody has ever heard,’” he said. “Johnny Cash is in the very prime of his voice for his lifetime. He’s pitch perfect.”
If the first single is any indication, “Out Among the Stars” should be a worthy addition to the canon of a true American original and — for my money — the most influential country artist ever: Johnny Cash.