I had no idea what I was going to hear when I put the first CD from this 2-disc set into my player. The CD is called “Wear the Black – A Tribute to Johnny Cash.” The artist is Esteban, a very well known Spanish guitarist. The music belongs to Johnny Cash, country superstar… country legend. While I wasn’t sure what I was going to get – it didn’t take me long to figure it out. What I heard was Johnny Cash’s music, awesome guitar, great vocals, and all-in-all, a fantastic album. This is certainly something Esteban and everyone connected with this project can be very proud of.
Some of the arrangements are slightly different from the original Johnny Cash songs. But they’re all really good. Johnny Cash is such a huge part of our country music world, and I couldn’t believe that someone was going to take 20 of his songs and redo them. But you sure don’t hear me complaining now. The CD is playing while I’m writing, and I think it’s going to spend a lot of time in my CD player.
“Known for his stunning guitar-work and exciting live shows, Esteban pays respect to his hero with his renditions of over 20 of Cash’s immortal recordings. Recorded and produced in the legendary Ray Benson owned Bismeaux studios in Austin, Texas, "Wear the Black" brings a new and heartfelt voice to some of Cash’s most beloved songs.
Best known for his Spanish influenced original songs, Esteban’s love and respect for Cash’s music compelled him to come forth and sing the songs that for years only his family heard. "I have been singing for my family all my life; on road trips and at holidays. Anywhere I could be with my children and have them sing along. They always begged me to sing ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’, so that’s why it’s the title track on the new album…a kind of dedication." Having grown up the son of a steel mill worker in Pittsburgh, he identified with Cash’s blue-collared theme songs of social injustice, speaking for those without a voice and always do-ing right by your fellow man. This connection of ideals is why "Wear the Black" was such a natural progression for the Guitarist.
The songs run the gamut of Cash’s recording career with gems such as "Jackson", "Dark as a Dungeon" and "Ring of Fire" to newer classics such as "Hurt". Adding additional star power to the album are guest collaborators such as Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel), Dale Watson, Carolyn Wonderland, Jesse Dayton, Redd Volkaert on the Telecaster Guitar and Cash’s original piano player, Earl Poole Ball. "Wear the Black" is available on iTunes and Amazon. More information is also available on http://estebanmusic.com and the http://weartheblack.com website. Esteban has recorded over 25 albums, 8 Number One Billboard albums and been on the Billboard 200 numerous times.”
Disc One: Ghost Riders in the Sky, Folsom Prison Blues, The Highwayman, Ring of Fire, I’ve Been Everywhere, Five Feet High and Rising, Jackson, 16 Tons, The Man in Black, Tennessee Flat Top Box, Daddy Sang Base and Flesh and Blood.
Disc Two: Dark as a Dungeon, Hurt, I Walk the Line, The Girl From the North Country, It Ain’t Me Babe, One Piece at a Time, Johnny Yuma, If I were a Carpenter, and God’s Gonna Cut You Down.
I love that list of songs! I’m really glad to see “Five Feet High and Rising” on there, as well as “One Piece at a Time” – two of my favorite Johnny Cash songs. Can’t help wonder how he missed “A Boy Named Sue”, or why he chose not to do that one. In any case, you guys are going to love this CD! It is going to be great company when I have to take a long trip by car!
CONTEST: Now that you’ve heard about the new album, I am sure you are going to want a copy of your own. And I have five CDs to give away! This contest will start now, and run through Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at 7 p.m. All you have to do is send your name and mailing address to email@example.com and you’ll be entered! Be sure to put ESTEBAN CONTEST in your subject line. Five winners will be selected at random. Winners will be notified by e-mail and announced on Country’s Chatter. Get your entries in now. You aren’t going to want to miss you chance at winning this a copy of this great CD!
That’s all for this morning. You guys have a good Thursday. Write when you have a minute! Love hearing from you.