I really do not know where to start with this CD. It is an absolutely must have for anyone that loves the songs June Carter Cash penned and sung over her long career. The cast of performers is as compendious as the list of musicians that have played at the Grand Ole Opry. And the performances are all flawless and enthralling. Anchored In Love is set for a June 5th launch, which will coincide with the release of a book about June Carter Cash authored by her son John (and yes I have it on order)! I feel really lucky to have bragging rights of having this pre-release CD in my possession. I also learned a great deal about this wonderful songwriter. I did not know that many famous songs such as “Burning Ring Of Fire” or “Keep On The Sunny Side” came from this lady’s pen.

Opening with “If I Were a Carpenter” Sheryl Crowe and Willie Nelson get the party started with a very up tempo version of this classic song. This is followed up by “Jackson” performed by Carlene Carter (daughter) and Lonnie Dunn, again a great rendition of this song. And what would an album like this be without Loretta Lynn, and so for our listening pleasure she does “Wildwood Flower.” Everyone contributes something unique to these timeless songs.

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Coen brothers O Brother Where Art Thou, and I love the music in it. I was very surprised to find two links from Anchored in Love to it. In the movie “Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life” is used in a particularly funny scene.  Brad Paisley does an admirable job of keeping on the sunny side of life! The second reference is that the Peasall Sisters (The trio of small sisters singing at the political convention in O Brother) their performance made such an impression on John Carter Cash that he invited them to join Billy Bob Thornton in singing “The Road To Kaintuck.” The sisters have grown up a little since O Brother, but their voices are superb.

I am pretty sure that Elvis Costello has never played the Grand Ole Opry, but he does sing a very fine version of “Ring Of Fire,” a song that most people associate with Johnny Cash, yet it was June that actually wrote it. According to the sleeve notes Elvis Costello was a close friend of the family, and so it is very fitting that he has a place on this CD.

Space prevents me from continuing with this review! I could write a whole book, and then, likely write another one! With the wide variety of well know performers and even wider musical styles this is must listen to music. I have missed talking about Patty Loveless, Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, and a whole lot of other performers, all of who make great contributions.

John Carter Cash has done an outstanding job of celebrating the music that his mother created.

As an aside, this is likely the only review of this fine CD that you are likely to read before sometime in mid May. It turns out that someone in Nashville made what is likely a career ending mistake! No copies of this CD were supposed to be released to the press untill a couple of weeks before the launch. Someone screwed up, so I likely have the only copy of this fine CD in the wild! And boy were they annoyed when they discovered their mistake! 

Simon Barrett


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