The Man in Black is back

By Jeffrey B. Remz, October 2000

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Robin says, "It was a song that he always liked. I think it was recorded, but not released."

"Country Trash" is a humorous song Cash writes in the '80's, but went unrecorded. Cash says he wrote it with "a little country pride in my childhood way of life."

Haggard participates with vocals and guitar on "I'm Leaving Now."

Haggard was on his way to Chattanooga, Tenn. for a gig. Cash says he was glad he did not have to go, but asked the Hag to say hi to the crowd.

"We recorded the song without a hitch," Cash writes. "Marty Stuart playing the Hank Snow style guitar, and Laura Weber on fiddle. It's always a good day for me when I can see an old friend like Haggard"

Cash is not going to tour behind the album, at least "not at the moment," according to Robin.

"I think basically it's a health factor. He wants to feel good and be able to do a long show like he normally does. At the moment, he doesn't feel that he's ready to do that. That could always change. It takes a lot of energy, and he wants to be right. It's something else to be in the studio and work for a couple of hours. It's another thing to be on the road."

"It's good. He's feeling well."

After years of family and professional friendship, Scruggs remains in awe of Cash.

"For me, it's always poignant with Johnny Cash...He's one of the artists I really really have goosebumps when I'm around. I've known him all my life. I feel comfortable that he's a true friend. There's something about him that is so special and put beyond words. I'm in awe of his talents, his creativity and really his sense of respect for other artists that he has respect for. To me, it shows. It's not just me that has this feeling."

And don't worry about another Cash album, according to the man in black. "This album has been a long time coming, and I feel another in there somewhere," he writes.

"On the question of youth and old age, I wouldn't trade my future for anyone's I know. After all my experiences of the past and present to bring the best song I know to the sessions. The future is not questionable, but for me it is a path of light. Lit by those I know, who enrich my life."

"The Master of Life's been good to me. He gives me good health now and helps me to continue doing what I love. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where others saw oblivion. He has given new purposes to live for. New services to render and old

wounds to heal. Life and love go on. Let the music play."

Photos by Morello/Gherghia, including one with Marty Stuart at the Ryman

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