Dressed In Black
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., Nov. 1, 2002
Dressed In Black(Dualtone)
Surely you didn't think Johnny Cash's 70th birthday would pass without a slew of tribute albums, retrospectives, and biographies, did you? Tribute albums are usually dicey affairs, but this one isn't bad. The Austin contingent is represented by Earl Poole Ball's great swaggering version of "I Still Miss Someone," Rosie Flores' "Big River," Dale Watson's tailor-made "I Walk the Line," and Redd Volkaert's take on Cash's goofy "Luther Played the Boogie," replete with deep-n-twangy Volkaert guitar. BR5-49's Chuck Mead uses his aw-shucks twang on "There You Go," Rev. Horton Heat rips up "Get Rhythm," and Rodney Crowell livens up "Ballad of a Teenage Queen," one of Cash's more mawkish numbers. Then there's Billy Burnette's "Ring of Fire," a tune that's become too shopworn to do a fresh version of, and Hank III fairly mangles the phrasing of "Wreck of the Old 97." Still, this is a good overview of talent (also roping in Robbie Fulks, Bruce Robison/Kelly Willis, and Damon Bramblett), and a fitting tribute to the man himself.