STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis has revealed that he will ill appear on a new album that features poems written by Johnny Cash set to music. The project is titled "Johnny Cash Forever Words: The Music" and is the creation of Cash's son John Carter Cash, who is also producing the set. The younger Cash published a book of his father's previously unavailable poems last year, titled "Forever Words: The Unknown Poems".
Speaking to RockBandReviews.com, Lewis said (hear audio below): "Just last week, I was lucky enough to be one of the singer-songwriters chosen by John Carter Cash to get one of the Johnny Cash poems that hadn't been turned into a song yet and turn it into a song. And so I did that last week in Johnny Cash's cabin in Nashville, where he recorded all of his later stuff. And in the room that was the original recording room, we recorded the song. It was pretty amazing. [I was] so honored."
Asked if he could feel any ghosts in the room, Lewis responded: "There was definitely energy in the room that was tangible and noticeable by everyone involved."
"Johnny Cash Forever Words: The Music" will also feature late SOUNDGARDEN vocalist Chris Cornell, country artist Jamey Johnson, Brad Paisley, Jewel, T-Bone Burnett, Dailey & Vincent, Kacey Musgraves and more.
Johnson told the Kentucky Country Music blog: "John Carter has a good number of poems that Johnny wrote. I say poems because they don't have music to them. He's working on an album where he's pairing up these songs with songwriters from our day to finish up these Johnny Cash songs. One of them that I know he's most proud of and you can't get it anymore — he's got Chris Cornell having finished one of these songs and then recorded it. I'm excited for it to come out. I got to do a couple of them."
Cash himself covered SOUNDGARDEN's "Rusty Cage" on his 1996 album "Unchained", and Cornell began performing Cash's arrangement of it on his 2015 solo tour.
A release date for "Johnny Cash Forever Words: The Music" has yet to be announced.