Posthumous release American VI: Ain't No Grave is the last of the albums Johnny Cash created with Rick Rubin. Producer Rubin collected songs from various writers, eras, and genres; stripped the arrangements, ditching drums and bass; and put Cash in front of a microphone.
For the title track, Rubin enlists roots rockers the Avett Brothers. Scott plays banjo as Seth adds the album's only percussion -- a foot stomp. Someone drags a chain. Cash, armed with an acoustic guitar, defiantly intones, "Well there ain't no grave can hold my body down."
On Sheryl Crow's "Redemption Day," weariness saturates Cash's emotive baritone. "I've wept for those who suffer long," he sings while accompanied by sorrowful guitar arpeggios and ominous piano chords. A soft organ laments. "Redemption" sounds like a prayer and provides one of the album's highlights.
When on "Satisfied Mind" Cash sings "Money can't buy back your youth when you're old/or a friend when you're lonely/or a love that's grown cold/The wealthiest person is a pauper at times/compared to the man with a satisfied mind," the listener may receive a welcome kick in the priorities.
Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003. He was 71.
- Album: American VI: Ain't No Grave (2010)
- Artist: Johnny Cash
- Label: American
- Songs: 1. Ain't No Grave 2. Redemption Day 3. For The Good Times 4. I Corinthians 15:55 5. Where 6. Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bond 7. It Don't Hurt Anymore 8. Cool Water 9. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream 10. Aloha Oe