New Johnny Cash album, Songwriter, features previously unreleased 1993 recordings.

Co-produced by John Carter Cash and David “Fergie” Ferguson, Songwriter, is a new album of tracks written solely by Johnny Cash.

Featuring a newly recorded band of Marty Stuart, Dave Roe and Pete Abbott alongside special guests Dan Auerbach and Vince Gill, the album celebrates one of America’s greatest songwriters.

Watch the trailer below:

Man In Black

In early 1993, Cash found himself between contracts in his then nearly 40-year career and recorded an album’s worth of songwriting demos at LSI Studios in Nashville of songs he’d written over many years. LSI at the time was owned by his son-in-law Mike Daniels and daughter Rosey, and he wanted to help the family financially while also record some songs special to him.

Not long after the fruitful session, Johnny met producer Rick Rubin, and the recordings were shelved as the two embarked on an important and prolific musical partnership that revitalised the Man in Black’s career that would last the rest of his life.

Some 30 years later, John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, rediscovered the songs and stripped them back to just Johnny’s powerful, pristine vocals and acoustic guitar.

The Cash Cabin

Along with co-producer David “Fergie” Ferguson, the two invited a handpicked group of musicians that played with Johnny, including guitarist Marty Stuart and the late bassist Dave Roe, along with drummer Pete Abbott and several others, to the Cash Cabin, a hallowed space in Hendersonville, Tennesse, where Johnny would write, record and relax, to breathe new life into the tracks, taking the sound back to the roots and heart of the songs.

Released on 28 June  via Mercury Nashville/UMe, the simply and aptly titled Songwriter, is an 11-track collection showcasing the breadth of his writing.

There are songs of love, family, sorrow, beauty, spiritual salvation, survival, redemption, and of course, some of the lighthearted humour Johnny was known for, all sung in his unmistakable, trademark, resonant voice.

Johnny Cash Songwriter is out on 28 June

Follow Your Heart

“Dad’s advice with anything, whether it was life or making music, was always ‘follow your heart,” said John Carter. And it is this truism of his father’s that let guide him every step of the way when making Songwriter.

“It’s not about selling Johnny Cash, he would be doing that himself. I’m grateful that this record is here, even if it was only for me, because it reminds me of who my father was, and I do believe there are people out there that knew him on somewhat of a level that I did, that will be just as touched.

“But I also believe that there are people out there that have never heard my father’s music that will find new interest in hearing this, hearing this album and hearing my father’s voice. I hope that gleans some curiosity in some people where they dig further, and they discover more because there’s a lot to see within those pages.”

The first single, Well Alright, is an upbeat and infectious tune about finding love in of all places, the laundry mat. With its humorous lyrics, galloping beat and taut acoustic upright bass Well Alright is prime Johnny Cash, harkening back to his 50s hits such as Get Rhythm, Five Feet High And Rising, Cry! Cry! Cry! andBig River. Listen below:

Always A Hero

After stripping the original recordings back to just Johnny’s vocals and guitar, John Carter reached out to Fergie, a longtime friend and Johnny’s go-to engineer for nearly 30 years, and the two set off to create an album that would honour and amplify Johnny’s songwriting and timeless voice, while staying true to the spirit of the recordings.

“He was always my hero and I just felt like the luckiest guy in the world to get to record him,” said Fergie. “I think this record is the way I would have liked to have made one if I would have ever been in charge of one, before Rick Rubin or after Jack Clement.

“I’ve known John Carter since he was a boy, so it was great to finally work with him. He gave me a lot of leeway, especially in terms of grooves and things. We went right along the same page. There wasn’t ever a conversation or plan about an end product, it was just let’s do the best we can do.”

One True Voice

Songwriter is all about putting the spotlight back on Johnny’s songwriting. “I wanted it to be songs that mostly people hadn’t heard and that paid close attention to who he was as a songwriter and who he was as an American voice,” said John Carter.

“One of my most important focuses in the past 10 years is to give history the opportunity to notice him as the great writer he is.

“Bob Dylan says he’s one of the greatest writers of all of American written music and I agree. I want to put that in the forefront. His writing voice specifically is a certain voice, that I think if America wants to know their history, that’s a good place to look. Johnny Cash is definitely one true voice that we can listen to, specifically to his writings.”

Songwriter will be available to stream and download, as well as on CD and a variety of vinyl options, including standard black and several limited edition colour variants.


1. Hello Out There
2. Spotlight
3. Drive On
4. I Love You Tonite
5. Have You Ever Been To Little Rock?
6. Well Alright
7. She Sang Sweet Baby James
8. Poor Valley Girl
9. Soldier Boy
10.Sing It Pretty Sue
11. Like A Soldier

Side A
1. Hello Out There
2. Spotlight
3. Drive On
4. I Love You Tonite
5. Have You Ever Been To Little Rock?
Side B
1. Well Alright
2. She Sang Sweet Baby James
3. Poor Valley Girl
4. Soldier Boy
5. Sing It Pretty Sue
6. Like A Soldier

Pre-order available exclusively from the UK store until midnight 26 April. Pre-order available from all other retailers on 26 April at 12am local time in all territories. Click here

For more Johnny Cash read our Top 40 Johnny Cash Songs