The 17-track release is a collection of songs recorded over the last ten years and features an astounding host of musical guests, including some of Nashville’s most recorded session players and artists representing Rock, Gospel and Country Music. Tony Rice, Ana Cristina Cash, John Cowan, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jerry Douglas, Dave Roe, The Daeger Brothers, Bob Moore, Etta Britt, Charlie McCoy, Tony Harrell, Jamie Hartford, Sam Bush, Jack Clift and the Cedar Hill Refugees, Sarah Peasall McGuffey, Ira Dean, Ronnie and Rob McCoury, Eric Hamilton and many others took part in the project. The album’s imaginative cover features the faces of many of the individuals who contributed to the music and is designed by Roberto Parada.
The project is made up of original material, some co-written with master songwriters, including Bill Miller, Shawn Camp, and Wesley Orbison. A remake of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt,” previously released by Cash’s father is also a highlight on the release. Much of the production is sparse and simple, focusing on the song and the individual instrumentalist. John Carter holds no limit or containment around his creative energy, and the double-album promises to be diverse and presents an unparalleled epic journey.
The title song, written by Bob McDill and Allen Reynolds, is the essential message of the album. John Carter commented about the track, saying “I remember believing in MAGIC. I recall the wind in itself being alive and with a voice… It smelled awake, purposeful and spoke in a resounding tongue I perfectly understood. All was vast, open, dazzling and wondrous. I believe this to be the truth of the world……the MAGIC is inside us all. And though it may be forgotten, it can be remembered once again… It is only up to us to do one single thing, and do it purely…BELIEVE.”
Released through Reviver Legacy, the full-length album is produced by John Carter Cash and was engineered and mixed by Chuck Turner at Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where John Carter worked with his parents Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash on much of their latter life recordings.
Growing up among one of Country music’s most recognizable families, there’s no surprise that John Carter Cash would mature to become an accomplished and award-winning record producer. Having been a producer for over 25 years now, he’s garnered six Grammy Awards and seven Grammy nominations, and has production credits that includes Alison Krauss and Union Station, Chris Cornell, Elvis Costello, John Cowan, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Carlene Carter, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, John McEuen, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Jamey Johnson, John Popper, Ruston Kelly, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tim O’Brien, John Prine, Earl and Randy Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Josh Turner, Dr. Mavis Staples, The John Randal and Jessi Alexander, Wylie and the Wild West, to many more.
Having written music for decades, John Carter continues to live inside a creative world reaching far beyond just music production. He is a singer-songwriter and author. The grandson of Maybelle Carter and the only son from the marriage of John R. Cash and June Carter Cash, he preserves the family legacy and is a caretaker to the heritage of his musical ancestors.
…and John Carter Cash
1.The Quailsong - Featuring Tim O’Brien Lyric by John Carter Cash, Music by Tim O’Brien. (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP; No Bad Ham Music, ASCAP, admin Blue Water Music). Mandolin, Bouzouki and Vocal: Tim O’Brien; Bass: Byron House; Fiddle: Matt Combs; Acoustic Guitar: Mark Howard.
2.The Journey to the River - Featuring Tony Harrell Music by Tony Harrell (Tony Carlisle Music, ASCAP). Piano: Tony Harrell.
3.Cotur Ada’s Song Part 1 - Featuring John Carter Cash Lyric and music by John Carter Cash (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Acoustic Guitar, Dave Daeger, JCC.
4.The Raccoon’s Song - Featuring Shane Ownby, Ashley Merrill, Sarah Peasall, Ronnie Bowman, and George Daeger Lyric by John Carter Cash, Music by Shane Ownby and JCC (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Bass: Byron House; Fiddle: Matt Combs; Acoustic Guitar, mandolin: Mark Howard; Acoustic guitar: JCC; Cello: Charlie Chadwick.
5.The Forest Song - Featuring Bill Miller Muisc by Bill Miller (Big Yellow Horse Publishing BMI/Chocolate Soda Music BMI, Administered by Moon & Musky Music) Flute: Bill Miller
6.Cotur Ada’s Song Part 2 - Featuring John Carter Cash Lyric and music by John Carter Cash (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Acoustic Guitar, Dave Daeger, JCC; Keyboards: Dave Daeger.
7.Harlequin’s Song - Featuring Dave Daeger By Dave Daeger (Daeger Music, BMI). Piano: Dave Daeger
8.The Flight of the Hornets - Featuring Ken Coomer Music by Ken Coomer (Five Hundred Foot Toe Music, Administered by Bug Music, ASCAP). Drums: Ken Coomer.
9.The Vulture’s Song - Featuring Damon Fielder, Natalie Aulvin, Sarah Peasall, Ronnie Bowman, and George Daeger
Lyric and Music by John Carter Cash (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Guitars: JCC and Dave Daeger; Bowed Bass: Byron House; Mandolin: Mark Howard; Piano: Tony Harrell; Drums: Ken Coomer.
10.The Deer Song - Featuring Sarah Peasall, Ronnie Bowman, George Daeger and John Carter Cash
Lyric by John Carter Cash, Music by Shane Ownby and JCC (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Electric Bass: Byron House; Mandolin, Acoustic Guitars: Mark Howard; Electric and acoustic guitars: JCC; Piano: Tony Harrell; Drums: Ken Coomer.
11.Cotur Ada’s Song Part 3 - Featuring John Carter Cash
Lyric and music by John Carter Cash (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP). Acoustic Guitar, Dave Daeger, JCC; Keyboards: Dave Daeger.
12.The Quailsong Slight Reprise - Featuring Tim O’Brien and The Cash Cabin Vocal Group
Lyric by John Carter Cash, Music by Tim O’Brien. (Auriga Ra Music, ASCAP; No Bad Ham Music, ASCAP, admin Blue Water Music). Mandolin, Bouzouki and Vocal: Tim O’Brien; Bass: Byron House; Fiddle: Matt Combs; Acoustic Guitar: Mark Howard.
Finally, in a music world where things seem to only fit more closely into genre specific boxes, comes the album No Depression calls “…like nothing else out there… truly spectacular.” John Carter Cash’s CD “The Family Secret” oversteps these boundaries so firmly in place and follows only one rule: the rule of the heart. This album covers new ground, blending various styles and influence. The music is diverse, yet clearly defined by John Carter’s inimitable style and writing. There are elements of hard rock here, just as evidentially heard as those of traditional country music and folk. “The Family Secret” mainly showcases John Carteras a writer, showing depth and intrigue, from the dark and searching “Cab Casket” to the rumpus and fun title song, the listener is taken for a journey they will not forget. “No One Gets Out of Here Alive” is a soul searching prayer, while “Killarney”, an eight minute Irish folk ballad, tells a tale of lost love, tragedy and finally hope. John Carter also covers a few of his long time favorites, including Louden Wainwright III’s “Swimming Song” and the Tom Paxton classic “The Last Thing on my Mind.”