Johnny Cash’s “Spotlight” Features The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach

Cash’s posthumous album Songwriter is set to release on June 28

Johnny Cash has a new posthumous release out Friday called “Spotlight,” featuring guitar parts from the Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach.

“Spotlight” is the second single released ahead of Cash’s upcoming album Songwriter, comprised of demos Cash wrote over several years and recorded at Nashville’s LSI Studios in 1993. Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, recently rediscovered the demos and took his father’s vocals and acoustic guitar, enlisting musicians Marty Stuart, Dave Roe, and Pete Abbott to add guitar, bass, and drums. Carter Cash Produced the upcoming album alongside David “Fergie” Ferguson.

“Spotlight” itself is riddled with Auerbach’s bluesy flare, sonically similar to the Black Keys’ 2021 project Delta Kream in which the band covered about a dozen country blues tracks. The song also highlight’s Cash’s signature, impossibly low baritone.

“It was the thrill of a lifetime to be able to play guitar on a Johnny Cash song,” Dan Auerbach said in a statement. “Hearing his voice through the speakers in my studio sent chills down my spine. I can’t thank John Carter and Fergie enough for including me.”


Aside from Auerbach’s guitar, Songwriter also enlists features from fellow country legends Vince Gill and Waylon Jennings. The album, Cash’s first posthumous release since 2014, is set to release later this month on on June 28. Back in April, Carter Cash shared the album’s first single “Well Alright.”

“We just went rudimentary,” Carter Cash previously said of the album in a statement. “We went straight to the roots, as far as the sound, and tried not to overly enhance it. We built as if dad was in the room. That’s what we tried to do. Between the both of us, Fergie and I have spent thousands of hours with dad in the recording studio, so we just tried to act like he was there: WWJCD, right?”

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