CD Reviews for 03/17/10 – Johnny Cash, Brian Olive

Compact Capsules for Mar 17, 2010
by Dan Ferguson

Johnny Cash
American VI: Ain’t No Grave
American Recordings

Upon hearing an American VI was coming in the series of recordings the late Johnny Cash made with producer Rick Rubin, the news was greeted with trepidation figuring they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Wrong! Nearing the end of his run, what Cash lacks in vocal strength American VI: Ain’t No Grave is made up for in emotion and intimacy with the material. Almost entirely covers (and few have ever chosen songs to cover better than The Man in Black), Cash breathes a certain magic into the 10 tunes with the quirky “Aloha Oe”, dressed up with Hawaiian guitar and all, closing the disc with a curveball burst of buoyancy. Visit

Brian Olive
Alive Natural Sound Records ALIVE0095-2

Before setting out on a solo path, Brian Olive plied his trade as guitarist with scrappy Ohio-based garage bands The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers. Judging by his self-titled solo debut from late last year, he learned well. This solo debut finds the Cincinnati-based rocker using the psych and garage of the 1960s as lift-off point and advancing his sound into directions both soul and jazz. From beginning to end, Olive seems pretty comfortable calling the shots delivering a record that reveals more with each listen. Pick track goes to “Jubilee Train”. Check out the Youtube clip! Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)