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Bootleg, Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth

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The fourth volume of Johnny Cash's "bootleg" series features gospel recordings made in the '70s and '80s, many of which have been officially issued over the years. Rarities still make up a decent chunk of the collection, but the main point of the release is to pull together Cash's inspired spiritually-based material in one place. His collaborators inspire him to reach. The Carter Family rally for the upbeat "I've Got Jesus in My Soul," while daughter Rosanne joins them for the country-based "When He Comes" and Rodney Crowell slips in for "He Touched Me." June Carter Cash harmonizes on "Waiting on the Far Side Banks of Jordan." Jessi Colter helps bring out the tragedy of "The Old Rugged Cross." Cash handles much of the material himself, with a nicely restrained approach given to "Wildwood in the Pines," "Never Grow Old," and "What Is Man." Those are three tunes where Cash does what he does best: taking basic melodies and informing them with the weight of the world with a voice as iconic as Mount Rushmore.


Born: 26 February 1932 in Kingsland, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Johnny Cash was one of the most imposing and influential figures in post-World War II country music. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash didn't sound like Nashville, nor did he sound like honky tonk or rock & roll. He created his own subgenre, falling halfway between the blunt emotional honesty of folk, the rebelliousness of rock & roll, and the world-weariness of country. Cash's career coincided with the birth of rock & roll, and...
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