Johnny's Blues A Tribute To Johnny Cash (Northern Blues) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Although there are potential problems in assembling an homage to the bluesy side of Johnny Cash, relying on the contributions of artists unfamiliar with the Man In Black, album producer Colin Linden lucks out with Johnny's Blues. Mavis Staples delivers a characteristically soulful reading of Will The Circle Be Unbroken, and Linden's own Blackie & the Rodeo Kings roll hard through Folsom Prison Blues. But even those who plead ignorance of Cash's music turn their cluelessness to advantage and come up with uniquely twisted takes on the familiar tunes. The topper is Corey Harris's Nyabinghi reconstruction of Redemption, but Kevin Breit's string-enhanced reading of Send A Picture Of Mother is also pretty darn special.
Blackie & the Rodeo Kings play the Taste Of The Danforth's Main Stage (Logan and Danforth) Sunday (August 10) at 6:30 pm.