By Gillian G. Gaar
Bootleg Volume IV: The Soul of Truth"oo
Johnny Cash fans have been well served by the “Bootleg” series, with plenty of rare and previously unreleased tracks on each two-CD release. Volume IV in the series is no different, with more than a quarter of the 51 tracks previously released.
This particular set focuses on Cash’s gospel and religious recordings, drawing from songs recorded from the mid-‘70s to the mid-‘80s. Not all of the songs were even originally released on Columbia; songs from the 1979 album “A Believer Sings The Truth” were first released on the Cachet Records label. And there are a number of tracks originally recorded in 1975 for an album that remained unreleased.
There are plenty of guest vocalists trading lines with Cash, mostly on the first disc: June Carter Cash, Roseanne Cash, Cindy Cash, Anita Carter, Marshall Grant, Rodney Crowell and Jessi Colter, among others. The songs also cover a wide gamut, from the lively (“Children Go Where I Send Thee”) to the more reverent (“He Touched Me”).
There’s much to enjoy here, and Cash’s warm vocal style is perfect for spiritual numbers. Don’t be surprised if you start to sing along.