Anchored in Love
A Tribute to June Carter Cash
Dual Tone Music
One of the pillars of country music is Mother. The others, of course, are the pickup truck, alcohol, dogs and infidelity, but Mom always pulls rank. When you look at country music moms, none is more powerful and influential than June Carter Cash, matriarch of the Carter family and long-suffering wife of Johnny Cash. She died in 2003, and her son John pulled this tribute together, with songs covered by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello.
For the most part, these songs are well-crafted country tunes, suitable for all occasions hillbilly. Rosanna Cash covers “Wings of Angels,” and Carlene Carter and Ronnie Dunn pull off an excellent “Jackson.” More heartfelt gospel numbers come from Ralph Stanley with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and Billy Joe Shaver’s “Kneeling Drunkards Prayer.” If there’s a weak cut, I’d have to assign it to Elvis Costello’s lounge version of “Ring of Fire.” Rather than an adultery-fired trip to Hades, it sounds more like the aftermath of dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Despite this flaw, the tribute is worthwhile and completely in the spirit of Mrs. Carter’s hard-living husband and gospel-flavored career.