Sign up for newsletter

Ana Cristina Cash

Shine – 2020 (Cash Cabin Enterprises)

Reviewed by Jim Hynes

Find it on Amazon

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Ana Cristina Cash

Yes, the surname is familiar. Ana Cristina Cash is the daughter-in-law of Johnny Cash, having married his son, John Carter Cash, four years ago. This is the second English-speaking full-length recording for the Miami-born, bilingual Cash of Cuban descent, who began her professional musical career at age six. On "Shine," excepting two covers, she had a hand in writing every song. Cash fuses several genres, including rockabilly, country soul, jazz and blues.. Naturally, her producer husband produced.

Notably, "Brand New Pair of Shoes" is a co-write with her father-law as she put jazz-inspired music to his original lyrics. The other jazz-oriented tunes are "Busted" and "Hey Hipster" and like "Brand Pair of Shoes" use piano and horns. Close your eyes, and you could picture Ana Cristina in a late night jazz club. "Tug of War," a sassy song and warning sign to those who may want to flirt with her, is more in the rock and pop vein with background vocals.

Lest you be too concerned, she delivers country well too as evidenced by "Outlaw Blues," "Fixed to Fall" and "Where the Muscadine Grows." "Outlaw Blues" is a standard riff, but worth the listen for Charlie McCoy's harmonica and Cash's wailing vocals. "Where the Muscadine Grows" is about staying grounded and going back to your roots.

The strongest track is the ballad "Broken Roses," a provocative song raising issues about mental health and substance abuse challenges. Her cover of John Anderson's "Seminole Wind" is emotionally rich, as she nods toward her birth state.

Of course, with the legacy she and John Carter have, they call on some of the city's best players such as Paul Franklin, Dave Roe, Jimmy Lester, Harry Stinson, Charlie McCoy, Kenny Vaughan, and Chris Scruggs.

The album touches on lots of sounds but has plenty of strong moments, and Cash's vocals are versatile, emotive and potent.