Various Artists – All Aboard: A Tribute to Johnny Cash (CD)

Johnny Cash was punk rock before the term was every created. So it’s only fitting that modern punk rockers would honor the man with a tribute album.

There are used CD bins brimming with countless Cash tributes, but Anchorless Records’ effort is fantastic in both concept and execution. The CD is a solid mix of well know punks (Bouncing Souls, MXPX, The Sainte Catherines, Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan) and those soon to be well known (Gaslight Anthem, The Loved Ones, The Flatliners). The collection is not perfect; The Dresden Dolls and Franz Nicolay’s take on “Ballad of Teenage Queen” is interesting at first, but forgettable. More often than not though, the musicians do a fantastic job of taking classic songs and making them their own (The Loved One’s “Cocaine Blues,” delivered with an almost rushed immediacy is simply brilliant, as is Chuck Ragan and Jon Gaunt’s take on “Wreck of The Old 97”). It’s a wonder someone hasn’t already paired modern punks with Johnny Cash (for all I know they may have…), but the experiment by the folks at Anchorless is a fitting tribute to the Man in Black.

Top Track: “Cocaine Blues,” “Wreck of the Old 97,” “Hey Porter” and “I Still Miss Someone”

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Various Artists – All Aboard: A Tribute to Johnny Cash (CD) / 2008 Anchorless Records / 15 tracks (CD) /

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