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VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson (Live)

Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Recorded on May 12, 1997, in New York City, this is a singular and special concert document. It shows Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson together with two guitars, trading songs in front of a small audience, with no guests or extra instrumentation. Usually these “unplugged” shows are on some level a spectacle or a gimmick, but in this case it really is all about the music. The performances here are very much in line with Cash’s “American Recordings” series, and were overseen by the same producer, Rick Rubin. Rubin understood that these veterans were at their best when they were working casually, with the most basic tools. They sing a couple songs together, but most of the time they trade off on their most famous songs, as Nelson accompanies Cash on guitar or vice versa. While both men are in prime form, it’s a special treat to hear Nelson in this setting, since Cash had already performed many of his songs in this style for American Recordings. These versions of “Me and Paul,” “Funny How Time Slips Away” and “Always On My Mind” are about as close as you’ll ever come to having Willie performing on your back porch.

Customer Reviews

Two giants playing acoustic guitar in your living room

What a joy to listen this two amazing voices so relaxed and in mood for doing what they do best… you get the feeling of having a private concert in your living room, the sound of this record takes you there; it gets as real as you want, just close your eyes. 'Unchained' sounds so incredible, it‘s Cash in its best form… ‘Flesh and Blood’ sound so truthful and honest. I loved Willie’s songs , the storytelling of those songs is great, so natural. His version of ‘Always on my Mind‘ sound so sad, man so great!… get that glass of whiskey and don’t’ let these guys singin' alone.

Two kings sharing a sweet sounding throne.

I don't think it gets any better than this. These guys are amazing songwriters with great stories to tell. Putting them together creates great synergy.

My intro to Country Music and Willie

I'm not much of a country music fan, and Willie Nelson's music, as another reviewer put it, often sound too produced and busy. But this album made me realize what geniuses both of these artists are. Willie plays terrific acoustic guitar throughout. The stripped down sound is excellent, and makes you concentrate on how good these songs are. I've re-listened a hundred times. One of my top 25 favorite albums....and that's saying a lot!

Biography

Born: February 26, 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 &...
Full Bio