There are very few names in the music industry that get a positive response to their latest project regardless of the people present or their musical interests. Johnny Cash would have to fall into that said category. Regardless of whether or not you like country music, it's hard not to love or at least appreciate Cash's work. His legacy has withstood the test of time, and is one of very few artists who is enjoyed by young and old alike.
Christmas With Johnny Cash is the latest collection of well adored holiday tunes. The Christmas carols present on this album featuring the famous bluesy sound of Cash are sure to bring a smile to the country music fan's face. Cash puts his own spin on such timeless classics as "Joy to the World," "Blue Christmas," and "Silent Night" as well as many others, all done with the right amount of originality as well as retaining the classic sound. The selections on this collection are pulled from several different Cash Christmas projects, from as early as 1962, to the latest being from his 1980 project, Classic Christmas. The last track on Christmas With Johnny Cash, "Christmas As I Knew It," is a previously unreleased cut from the rehearsal of the Johnny Cash Show in 1970. The entirely spoken word track features Johnny telling of a Christmas experience with his family when he was a child set to an instrumental backdrop. It's a little lost gem for fans of Cash, but doesn't add anything new musically to the release.
Above all, a personal favorite is "The Christmas Guest," originally from his 1980 project, Classic Christmas. Cash paints a beautiful depiction of the well-known story of a man preparing his home for Jesus. The best part of this storytelling/song is the way Cash seems to snuggle up to the fire and read a poem as music plays in the background in a way that only he can do. This impactful rendition is told with infectious enthusiasm, as it presents a relevant Gospel message during the holiday season.
Christmas With Johnny Cash is a nice little holiday offering to bring a bit of Johnny's soulful touch to this Christmas season. Although the twelve-track release is almost half and half with spoken word and musical offerings, Christmas With Johnny Cash reminds listeners of the legacy Cash has left with us, even almost five decades later.- Review date: 11/9/07, written by Paul Edgar
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