by Craig Shelburne
The music of Johnny Cash has been a lifelong inspiration for guitar hero Duane Eddy, in no small part due to the riveting guitar work of Luther Perkins, who played in Cash’s band from 1954 until his death in 1968. Perkins is credited with inventing Cash’s “boom-chicka-boom” rhythmic trademark.
Now, more than five decades later, 82-year-old Eddy is stepping into the role of Cash’s sideman through a new collaboration between the Cash estate and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The legendary guitarist guests on “Farther Along,” one of 12 selections from the album Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, due November 13.
Produced by Nick Patrick and Don Reedman and recorded at Abbey Road Studio 2, Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is the latest in a series of RPO albums showcasing classic recordings by legacy artists in new musical settings. John Carter Cash served as Executive Producer.
“I always dreamed of playing with John, because of Luther Perkins,” Eddy said in a statement. “Luther and I lived in the same neighborhood, musically speaking (on the bass strings of the guitar), though somehow we managed to have our own sound and style. When Luther passed, I thought of calling Johnny and asking for a job to fill in for Luther. But then I decided I was being a bit too presumptuous. So I didn’t do it. So thanks to Don and John Carter, I was able to realize my dream after all.”
Drawing on archived recordings, the new album offers classics such as “Man in Black” and “Ring of Fire,” Cash’s rendition of “The Gambler,” and guests Bob Dylan on “Girl From the North Country,” June Carter Cash on “The Loving Gift,” and his fellow Highwaymen (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson) on “Highwayman.”
The recordings of “I Walk The Line” and “Flesh and Blood” used in making Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are both previously unreleased alternate takes from Johnny Cash’s soundtrack sessions for I Walk The Line, a 1970 film starring Gregory Peck and Tuesday Weld.
Track listing for Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
1. “Man in Black”
2. “Galway Bay”
3. “Girl From the North Country” (Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash)
4. “I Came to Believe”
5. “A Thing Called Love”
6. “The Loving Gift” (with June Carter Cash)
7. “I Walk the Line”
8. “Farther Along” (featuring Duane Eddy)
9. “Flesh and Blood”
10. “The Gambler”
11. “Ring of Fire”
12. “Highwayman” (The Highwaymen: Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash)