During the past few years Rock N’ Roll lovers have been saying that Rock N’ Roll has found a lofty compadre in Country Music and what’s emerging is a blend of the two genres that is labeled as Country Rock. And let’s not forget Gram Parsons’ blend of Country and Rock which Parsons labeled as Cosmic American Music.
From out of the blue John Carter Cash has released a definitive work that takes elements from the above mentioned genres and created an album titled “Hey Crow!” that skillfully blends the above mentioned elements into an amazing work that his parents, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, would be proud of.
Much of Cash’s prior work has been replica’s of his parents’ work and not much shifting away from the traditional realm of Country Music where his own interests lay. This work is an excellent departure from the Country norm. “Hey Crow!” is packed with tunes that stir the heart and calls to mind memories of days gone by.
Backing Cash is the very talented Cash Collective whose combined talents bring forth a bold and striking sound that gives one goose bumps. “Rise Up” was released on 6/12/20 as a sampling taste of what was to come later. The album features original songs whose hard rock influences can be heard. Cash said “ Of course, I grew up around Country, listening to my father’s music, and the Carter family. But when I was 12 or 13- years-old I listened to AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Rush, the Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd. This album pays homage to the classic rock bands that are still just as renowned and respected today as when I was young. And that was the case with both Chuck Turner and Justin Johnson (Cash Collective). We all grew up on Rock.”
In addition to dipping into the bag of Rock Chops the “Cash Collective” have incorporated vintage recording equipment to bring forth a sound that compliments the lyrics and conjures up memories of fun times from back in the day. In addition to the compelling song “Rise Up”, the “Cash Collective” have crafted “Sunshine” which with closed eyes one can “see” them in the Mojave Desert in a forest of Joshua Trees with relics of Johnny Cash’s past gigs like The Palomino club formerly in North Hollywood.
“Kick The Man down” dances a bit with the dark side and carries a strong message that will give rise to goosebumps. In the “Packaging Committee” parts reminded me of my days on Laurel Canyon and some of the jams that would occur spontaneously. It gets silly and a bit loose.
“The Seven” was a bit melancholy, but good overall and “Red Earth Red Sky” featured Indigenous sounds that resonated with the Native American in me and is a heavy message. Also equally impressive is “Through The Fires & The Flames which brought back goosebumps as Cash sounds so much like his dad and his take on “Hurt.”
“Secret Project” has nuances of “They Only Come Out At Night” by “The Edgar Winter Group.” Feels like they are saying that once you’ve reached a certain point in your life there can be no turning back. The song mentions “The Alan Parsons Project” in its lyrics. “The Black Crow’s Eyes” is a jaunty tune with a prism of licks and beats that capture the mood of a “murder” of crows and it’s possibilities.
This album in the totality of it’s messages which are skillfully told, is proof positive that this “collective” of talent working together as like minded souls has what it takes to be noted as a master storyteller. “Hey Crow!” is out now and needs to be listened to when you have the time to relax and really listen…especially with earbuds.
In other “Country Music” news, while spending time in the Mojave Desert recently another Country crooner by the name of Orville Peck came onto the jukebox at my favorite treasure hunt “Black Luck Vintage” in Yucca. This Gothic Country artist puts forth a flawless album in “Pony” which features a dark brooding twang that reaches into one’s heart strings and strikes a chord with relatable tunes such as “Queen Of The Rodeo”, “Buffalo Run”, “Kansas” and “Roses Are Falling.” There’s not a bad tune in the bunch and has an easy listening value that really made shopping at “Black Luck Vintage” really enjoyable. Peck’s voice reminds the LA Music Scene a tad bit of Chris Issak whose 1989 song “Wicked Game” sparked a Country Chord within us.
This little shop of treasures is run by Rachael Buttell whose taste in music runs close to the LA Music Scenes. Heck we even bought a cool “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” poster with space ships on it there.
It was Buttell that coined the phrase “Gothic Country” while discussing this easy listening piece of art whose J-sleeve features a red background with Peck wearing a red cowboy hat and a black leather fringed face mask. The New New Yorker magazine calls Peck “The Masked Man, Our Yee – Haw Moment” in August, 2019.
While grooving in the desert LA Music Scene did stop by the Joshua Tree Inn for a few nights and stayed in Room 8. Gram Parsons wishes everyone well.
LA Music Scene would like to thank John Carter Cash and the “Cash Collective” and Orville Peck for keeping the flame of Rock alive in another form so that it doesn’t fall victim to voice modulation and techno tunes as seems to be the way things are going nowadays. It has morphed into and melded with Country Music. Music with well written lyrics that can be understood and tell a cohesive story. Hats off to y’all!!!